Those familiar words that open Panic! at the Disco’s last album, Pretty. Odd., have picked up some unintended irony over the past few months: “You don’t have to worry because we’re still the same band.” Not quite.
Not only was the Panic!’s 2008 record a clear departure for the Vegas band – who’d left behind the R&B-infused emo-pop for some baroque Sgt. Pepper’s bluster – but it preceded a departure of a different sort. Members Ryan Ross and Jon Walker went their own way last July, leaving their former group to singer Brendon Urie and drummer Spencer Smith.
What’s more, a simultaneous release of dueling new singles – “New Perspective” by Panic!, and “Change” by the freshly formed Young Veins – revealed a telling detail: While Team Brencer offered a polished take on the old emo sound, RyRo and J-Walk took the Beatles thing and ran with it, effectively splitting the Panic! fan-base down the middle – same band, two ways.
The far more promising way, IMHO, goes by the name Young Veins, and that (sorta) brand new Topanga-based band played its first show together at The Echo over the weekend. Read about it here, via Spin.
The Fab Five faces its fans. (Andrew Herrold)