The Downfall of Panic! at the Disco

The Downfall of Panic! at the Disco

J Hindman, Reporter

Review: 3/10 Pomegranate Seeds

Once one of the most iconic pop punk bands of the early 2000s and 2010s, Panic! at the Disco has been largely criticized, for the second time, with Brendon Urie’s new album Viva Las Vengeance. This album has been considered the true end for Panic! at the Disco due to Urie’s poor vocals, bland lyrics, and general low effort put into the songs and cover art.

For a little background on the band, before it had become a solo project for Brendon Urie, it included four members: Urie as the lead singer, Ryan Ross as the lead guitarist, songwriter, and supporting vocalist, Spencer Smith on drums, and Brent Wilson as their bassist, who was later replaced with Jon Walker. Although multiple members left and joined the band between 2009 and 2013, the most notable split was when Ross and Walker left in 2009, after the album Pretty. Odd.’s release, which was announced on their website at the time. In an interview with NME, Ross explained that Walker and him “were never going to be happy being in that band because of certain compromises that we had to keep making.”

Even after two of the core members of the band had left, the true downfall of Panic! started in 2013, when Too Weird to Live! Too Rare to Die! released. This album is where you can truly see the decline in quality with Panic!’s music, along with Urie straying further away from the “vibe” the first two albums had. This album was meant to be surrounded around Vegas, which later led to fans criticizing Urie for Viva Las Vengeance having the same theme.

Viva Las Vengeance, released in August, features 12 songs and runs for roughly 42 minutes. Although Google reviews say that 77 percent of listeners enjoyed the album, long-time Panic! fans have been loudly voicing their criticisms on social media such as TikTok and Twitter. The album was an extreme disappointment for many people, possibly more than the Pray for the Wicked album from 2018 which sounded more like basic motivational pop than the unique alternative pop punk Panic! was known for in earlier years.

When you listen to the album, you can clearly tell that Brendon Urie is forcing his voice to reach the high notes he once could reach perfectly in past years. Although he sounds decent in the lower vocal ranges, it’s ruined by the awkward lyrics in the songs, this is especially true in “Don’t Let The Light Go Out”, the third track on the album. The worst track, in my opinion, is “Star Spangled Banger”. The speed throughout the song changes drastically, sometimes being extremely fast, and sometimes being very slow. The lyrics aren’t well written either, they try to come off as edgy and relatable towards audiences who may seem like outcasts in society; however, they’re boring and don’t have much feeling put into them. Overall, I would give this album 3 pomegranate seeds because even though the lyrics and vocals aren’t great, the instrumentals help redeem a lot of the songs.