Let’s get one thing straight here. There is serious rock n’ roll music but in rock n’ roll there is no room for seriousness. I mean you’re beating sticks against metal and whatever drum heads are made out of and you’re scraping a little plastic disc the size of a quarter against four or five metal strings or pushing down on keys and turning knobs. It’s kinda like working the line at a Taco Bell.
So when I see rock n’ rollers shooting their mouths off or acting like prima donnas I just turn off the telly cuz I don’t need that. I need fucking rocking n’ roll. I need loud noise and yelling and I want it to sound angry and fun at the same time. Straight out the gate on their self-titled record The Royal Panics The Royal Panics did that for me. They made me want to bang my head and jump around. They make the kind of high energy pop punk that is so like a drug it should almost be illegal.
The opening track “Sucker of the Century” brought me back to the first time I heard bands like the Hives and the Panic. It’s loud, fast, direct and catchy as hell. Is it a bit formulaic? Yes, it is, but so are Frosted Flakes and those are delicious.
Pop punk is meant to be formulaic and it’s meant to have certain uncrossable boundaries which is why it’s such a popular style of music to make. It’s like a bar softball league where the runner on second base is smoking a cigarette and the guy in right field has a beer. The high energy madness continues on the anthemic stadium rocker “Every Little Thing.”
Fast forward to the Kinks inspired gut punching “Anti Anti Machine” which is a song that will get lodged in your head like a wanted disease. From here we slip into the fun loving, head bobbing and sly wit of “Girls of NYC.” The trio returns to that Kinks style of dirty blues rocking on the radio friendly narrative “Best Part of You.” The short and sweet crunchiness of “Book V Movie” is a fun and punchy rocker that further invigorates this record as a party in a box.
The Royal Panics definitely have their shit together when it comes to writing high energy pop punk classics. The fact that this record unleashed so many memories of my pop punk phase from nearly twenty years ago only serves to show that this genre is and always will be one of pure enjoyment and camaraderie. Anyone who needs a musical lift or a lift of any kind could do with a healthy dose of this record.
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