Panic! At The Disco - A Fever You Can't Sweat Out

You wait all your life for a band to come along and help you make sense of it all and then mere seconds after My Chemical Romance come along, take your hand and pull you back off the edge of a bridge, along come Panic! At The Disco who promptly blow Gerard Way a kiss and walk off into the night for some Mormon loving.

The Panic story is one that dwarfs the tales of Arctic Monkeys internet exploits. Discovered by Fall Out Boys Pete Wentz who then signed them to his Fuelled By Ramen imprint label on the basis of two songs he'd heard on the net, they record a concept album "A Fever You Can't Sweat Out" in two halves (one half to dance to, one half to think about) and played their first ever gig to a sell out 400 people. Fast forward a few months and they've just sold out their debut UK tour before they've released a note of music on these shores.

The first half of the album is everything the debut from Head Automatica should have been. The titles alone, "The Only Difference Between Martyrdom And Suicide Is Press Coverage", "London Beckoned Songs About Money Written By Machines", "Nails For Breakfast, Tacks For Snacks" - all quotes from films with the lyrics and images conjured up around them by genius Ryan Ross. The line "We're a wet dream for the webzines" has come prophetically true and the first 2 tracks on the album serve as a mere introduction to the real meat of the album, but within these 5 tracks they manage to bring together techno beats with perfect emo hooks.

It's said that some of the lyrics were rewritten time and time again to hide the painful honesty of Ryan Ross' lyrics and if the lyrics of the aforementioned "Nails For Breakfast...." it hints at something more extreme. "Camisado" is a sure-fire single, musically and lyrically it's by far the most interesting on the album. Featuring at least 3 choruses in the space of one song they manage to bring together honky tonky piano, disco and powerpop throughout while the lyrics are pure One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest hell, the fact they merge it with an overtly pop base proves that dark lyrics don't always have to paired with downbeat instrumentation.

The second half of the album the emphasis is much more on the vocals of Brendan Urie, than the beats and the groove. "Because Its Better If You" starts off like an Elton John track from the mid 70s before leading off into the Mexicana meets accordion and harpsichord ballad of "I Write Sins, Not Tragedies".

The last two tracks "There's a Good Reason These Tables Are Numbered Honey, You Just Haven't" and "Build God, Then We'll Talk" show there's much more to the Killers meets My Chemical Romance comparisons lesser publications are trying to build up, Panic! At The Disco have just done for the emo scene what Outkast did for hip-hop scene a few years back, taken from long forgotten sources and made it into something new rendering previous offerings obsolete.

Panic! At The Disco are undoubtedly the most exciting band to emerge from the scene in years. "A Fever You Can't Sweat Out" is an album you simply can't live without

Alex McCann

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