There probably are some people out there who don’t like Panic! At The Disco but they must lead horrible, hollow lives. The rock crowd get all het up about them mostly on the strength of their debut ‘A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out’ which was the soundtrack to many a sticky floored club around the middle of the last decade. Further afield, for every indier-than-thou numpty who thinks it’s clever to giggle at their glittery jackets and vocal histrionics there’s a fan who digs the Beatles-esque vibes of second record ‘Pretty. Odd.’. Sure, it all got a bit fucking weird by the time third album ‘Vices and Virtues’ rolled around but there’s still enough residual goodwill knocking about for the showboys from Las Vegas for ‘Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die!’ to be hotly anticipated.
Indeed, as the Hunter S Thompson pilfering title might warn of, there’s plenty of Gambling City inspired glitz on show here as well as a little grime and grit. Opener ‘This is Gospel’ is a thumping, turbocharged anthem whose chorus smashes you in the face like an irate Bellagio bouncer. From there, the female-voiced hook of first single ‘Miss Jackson’ (courtesy of solo singer Lolo) takes us into more smouldering, sexual territory. It is, no doubt, reminiscent of some of Fall Out Boy’s recent efforts but let’s not forget that the Chicagoans half inched a hefty slice of Panic’s theatrical schtick around the time of ‘Infinity on High’ so a little re-addressing of the balance isn’t beyond forgiveness.
Elsewhere, a mid album trio of ‘Girl That You Love’, ‘Nicotine’ and ‘Girls Girls Boys’ see Brendon Urie back to his lyrically hedonistic best – the charge that imbued Panic’s earliest work and which he so represented is back in full flow and it is filthily, wonderfully delicious. On this evidence Urie is the sort of bloke who could find you a party on a cold Tuesday night in Hull, let alone the wee hours of Saturday on the strip.
There’s no shortage of musical sophistication here too. The layers of sound, electronics and orchestration which in various guises have become the band’s calling card over the years all make an appearance but the overall emphasis is on cracking tunes that could cause a commotion on the dancefloor of any disco. This is the sound of a band who have re-discovered the party (the good bits, the bad bits, the seedy bits) and the result is that ‘Too Weird…’ is an album that pops and fizzes with excitement, vim and intent. Sure, not everyone loves loves Panic! at the Disco but with this record they look set to win over some new fans and impress the old ones all over again.
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