Formed in downstate New York in late 2018, Neckscars are Will Romeo (Vox/Guitar), Justin Parish (Guitar/Vox), Colin Harte (Bass), and Craig Sala (Drums). Over the past two decades the members have been cutting their teeth in the DIY scene and have gathered to form this expansive collaboration. Without any specific stylistic direction in mind, they were determined to write a diverse collection of songs which proved to be an enjoyable process. The result was a classic punk rock and roll sound that doesn’t lean too hard on nostalgia and standard formulas. You can hear them echo influences ranging from Seaweed to Dead Boys as they embrace their unbridled enthusiasm.
In March of 2020, Neckscars entered Nada Studios in Montgomery, New York with Producer John Naclerio and Sean-Paul Pillsworth for their first full-length recording. Ripping through 8 songs in just three days, the session came to halt in response to the Covid-19 Global Pandemic. The band returned in the fall to tie up loose ends and bring another two songs to the table. Completed with a mastering by Jesse Cannon, Neckscars will be releasing their debut album Don’t Panic in the summer of 2021.
Teaming up with Engineer and Sell The Heart Records to release their new album, 'Don't Panic' the Neckscars guys have put together a brilliant rocking album of songs that you really need to hear.
Definitely one for fans of Hot Water Music, Iron Chic, Nothington, Menzingers, Tired Radio, Spanish Love Songs, Bear Away, Rydell, Hunter Gatherer, Small Brown Bike, Grade and the like.
'Don't Panic' will be available on mint green 12" vinyl and digipak CD, as well as all digital channels.
The band are also supplying a new track for an upcoming four way split 7" alongside label-mates Tired Radio and American Thrills and Nightmares For A Week.
Find Neckscars on;
Bearded Gentlemen - https://beardedgentlemenmusic.com/2021/06/18/neckscars-dont-panic-review/
I think it’s fitting that the debut album from New York’s Neckscars is called Don’t Panic. After all, they began recording it just as the COVID-19 lockdowns were set in place. Even though they had their recording plans paused as the world dealt with a global pandemic, things worked out the way they were intended to, albeit a tad delayed. When lockdowns were loosened, the band got back together and finished the last few songs. Now, about six months later, Don’t Panic has finally seen the light of day. After a few listens, I can confidently say it was well worth the wait.
Clocking in at ten songs in just over half an hour Neckscars comes at you with a less is more approach. There’s no fluff or filler on Don’t Panic. Instead, we’re treated to an album of classic melodic punk anthems.
Naturally, because of lead singer Will Romeo’s gravel-soaked vocals, he will immediately get comparisons to folks like Chuck Ragan, Brendan Kelly, and Tim Barry. To be sure, if you like bands like Hot Water Music, The Lawrence Arms, and Avail, you are definitely going to like Neckscars. Be careful not to pigeon-hole them into that whole orgcore stereotype though. Sure, they would fit right in, but there’s way more going on here. Melodic punk with gruff vocals is about the end of the comparisons. There’s also some straight forward rock sound coming through ala The Gaslight Anthem and The Menzingers too.
One of my favorite songs on the album is “Loaded.” It’s got really clean guitar work on it, and the catchiest anthemic chorus on Don’t Panic. I find myself listening to albums these days with the thought of how the songs will translate live (I miss shows). I can see it now. As the chorus kicks in, the crowd sings along at the top of their lungs. Their hands in a fist, pumping in the air to the beat. It’s going to be glorious.
Another special treat on Don’t Panic is the guest appearance of Jon Snodgrass on the album closer, “First Time, Long Time.” I’ve been a big fan of Snodgrass since his days in Drag the River, so it’s always a special treat to hear him pop up on other people’s music. He has one of those voices that is immediately recognizable. As soon as I heard him, I immediately got a smile on my face.
Neckscars has only been a band since 2018 and this is their first proper release. They have no business being this good their first time out. It’s just not fair! All kidding aside, if this is what their debut effort sounds like, this is a band to keep an eye on. They’re just going to keep getting better and better. Don’t Panic is the perfect jumping off point. You’ll be able to tell your friends that you remember when.
Distorted Sounds - https://distortedsoundmag.com/album-review-dont-panic-neckscars/
NECKSCARS were born in 2018 when four veterans of the New York DIY scene came together to see what happened. There were no specific stylistic intentions, just a desire to make diverse and interesting music. The results, presented on their debut full-length Don’t Panic, ended up taking the form of mature and melodic punk rock. Whether it passes for diverse is debatable, but either way if you like bands like HOT WATER MUSIC and PROPAGANDHI you should be happy enough here.
The album opens in pretty standard fashion with In Front Of Me. It’s a solid, melodic piece which sets up a strong opening run. Born Sick and Jarring which follow elevate things further, providing back-to-back early highlights. Both feature big sing-along hooks, and pick up the energy a touch from the opener. Fourth track Unfinished is more downbeat by contrast, but this still erupts into a catchy gang vocal sing-along in its second half. After this, Not Enough JPM’s rounds out this strong first half with another high-energy melodic punk track.
Plenty more sing-alongs follow throughout Don’t Panic. Frontman Will Romeo’s vocals are gruff and smoky, but they’re still capable of delivering a memorable hook. Even arguably more throwaway tracks like Temporary and Loaded have choruses which should still stick in listeners’ heads for a good while afterwards. It helps too that guitarist Justin Parish often adds a second layer of melody with his higher backing vocal harmonies. Lyrically, the band deal mostly in typical slacker and loser anthems. Lines like “I was born sick” and “I’m just thinking about how I’m gonna let you down” are hardly the most original in the world, but are still sure to strike a chord with plenty of proud punk rock deadbeats.
With pretty much all the tracks sitting around the three minute mark, Don’t Panic runs along at a solid pace. One regular highlight of the record is Parish’s lead guitar work. This is rarely particularly flashy, but it does add another welcome layer to the band’s punky sound. There are a few tracks where Parish gets a chance to properly let rip as well – perhaps most impressively on the aforementioned third track Jarring.
One criticism of Don’t Panic is that it occasionally feels like NECKSCARS could do with a little more bite. The New Yorkers may have the melodic stuff locked down, but it’s when they try and go a bit darker that things can feel a touch lacking. For example, eighth track Running Man hints at something more menacing in its verses, but this never amounts to much. It’s not an awful track, it just doesn’t quite stand up among its catchier counterparts.
Overall however, you’re unlikely to get particularly bored or frustrated with Don’t Panic. At just over 30 minutes, this record doesn’t outstay its welcome, and always moves along with a good degree of urgency. Closing tracks Let You Down and First Time, Long Time wrap things up on a high. Neither throw up any huge surprises, but the execution of both is still of a strong enough standard. That pretty much sums up the record itself as well. It doesn’t do much to break the mould, but its ten tracks prove NECKSCARS as a consistently safe pair of hands when it comes to energetic and hook-heavy punk rock.
Neckscars are a new-ish New York punk band formed by four veterans of the scene: Will Romeo (vocals, guitar), Justin Parish (guitar, vocals), Colin Harte (bass), and Craig Sala (drums). They make rustic, gravelly-voiced punk in the vein of Hot Water Music, Small Brown Bike, The Lawrence Arms, etc, and they do a lot of justice to that sound. If you've got a place in your heart for this kinda stuff, Neckscars' nostalgia-inducing anthems should definitely scratch an itch.
Neckscars recorded their upcoming debut album Don't Panic with producers John Naclerio (My Chemical Romance, Brand New, etc) and Sean Paul Pillsworth (Coheed & Cambria, Shai Hulud, etc), and it comes out on June 18 via Sell The Heart Records in the US (pre-order) and Engineer Records in the UK (pre-order). We're premiering new single "Jarring" and its video, which splices together footage of the band performing and goofing off at the beloved Purchase, NY pub The Cobble Stone.
"'Jarring' was one of the later tracks for the record and was inspired by my efforts to improve my health during the pandemic," Will says. "During that time, I took up road cycling and it just seemed fitting for the video to portray me feeling free, riding my bike and hitting up a bar. Hopefully these things will feel normal again soon."