Not since the Soviet Union, or maybe the Gosselins, has the splintering of a once-mighty cultural behemoth left the general populace so confused. But hot on the platform heels of last month's announced split of Panic! at the Disco, the simultaneous release of tracks from remaining Panickers! Brendon Urie and Spencer Smith (off the Jennifer's Body soundtrack) and guitarist/songwriter Ryan Ross and bassist Jon Walker's new outfit Young Veins, hint at what is to come from this mitosis-like division. We ask the important questions so you don't have to:
Young Veins, "Change"
What does it sound like? Classic-rock stew, with a spoonful of the Bo Diddley-shuffle from "Desire," a slathering of Hammond organ, two heaping cups of late-period Beatles lyrical and vocal tics, and a dash of original thought. If there was any mystery as to who was responsible for the "Hey, did you guys know there's a band actually, like, called the Band?" vibe of Panic's second album, there shouldn't be anymore.
What did these guys get to keep in the divorce? The Sgt. Pepper's gatefold, the Western shirts, relative anonymity.
Hasty armchair-psychology verdict based solely on the lyrics in the chorus: Ross, too, feels liberated, no longer held back by his ex-bandmates' refusal to evolve by embracing 40-year-old FM clichés.
Will appeal to Panic! fans who: Went along with Pretty. Odd.'s throwback fetishism.
Panic! At the Disco, "New Perspective"
What does it sound like? This song made a somewhat inauspicious live debut last week, but the studio version is a properly polished, only mildly overwrought mid-tempo chunk of emo, if you consider Third Eye Blind to be emo. The bassist these fellas sacked when their first album took off is waiting by his phone.
What did these guys get to keep in the divorce? The exclamation point, the arm garters, the band member who can actually sing.
Hasty armchair-psychology verdict based solely on the lyrics in the chorus: The reconfiguration has empowered Urie, who is excited for this bold new venture and the prospect of not having to split the publishing.
Will appeal to Panic! fans who: Prefer Urie's drama-club theatrics.