Panic! At the Disco have come a long way from singing about a whor-…I mean, a beautiful woman in 2005 to putting out possibly the club anthem of 2018. This week has been filled with some well kept (and some not so well kept) surprises for fans of the punk rock band. Already being pushed to the edge of our patience with the relentless teasers, Panic! At the Disco have released not one but two singles from their upcoming sixth studio album, Pray for the Wicked, along with the album’s track list, a brand-new music video and summer tour dates.
For every answer we received on March 19th Panic! At the Disco raised us another question using a similar strategy to get fans amped up for March 22nd in the form of flyers and posters reading ‘3:22, Worship Wednesday.’ Although we had all been eagerly awaiting a single drop for ‘3:19’, Panic blessed fans in and around Cleveland (along with some dedicated far away fans) with a surprise show at the Grog Shop. Only announcing the show the night before caused a flood of people to arrive in Cleveland and wait in line for hours just for a chance to be a part of the intimate crowd. Once the venue was filled to capacity, Panic! At the Disco took to the stage to perform the same setlist from their Death of a Bachelor Tour. Whilst fans may not have received the new music they wanted, we were introduced to Nicole Row, Panic! At the Disco’s new bassist. One of the lesser well-kept secrets, the crowd still went wild for the new member, giving her a warm and more than enthusiastic welcome. Nicole’s stage performance was brilliant and seamlessly blended with the rest of the band as if she had been performing with them for years. A performance made a little less surprising when knowing a bit about Nicole’s music history and finding out she has performed on stage with the likes of Miley Cyrus and Troye Sivan.
No questions were answered concerning ‘3:22’ other than the knowledge that Panic would be performing on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, and why would the band be performing if not to promote a new single? Well, before the show aired Panic gave fans more than what they bargained for by dropping both ‘(Fuck A) Silver Lining’ and ‘Say Amen (Saturday Night).’ Whilst ‘(Fuck A) Silver Lining’ is a dazzling, explosive and funky tune, it’s ‘Say Amen (Saturday Night)’ that has brought people to their knees and was the single the band performed on the show.
Watch the performance here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRdu-vB2Tkg
Also watch Brendon’s quirky rendition of the DuckTales theme song here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYf1IKFNHgM
Carrying over a hint of the sound that influenced Death of a Bachelor, ‘Say Amen (Saturday Night)’ is an R ‘n’ B, pop punk track with an infectious beat and chorus that could be Brendon coming for RuPaul’s iconic ‘can I get an amen?’ Blurring the line between religion and a good night out, the song has been explained to be an exploration of Brendon’s connections to religion through his Mormon upbringing whilst still being a must add to any pre-drinks playlist. With a song using a variation of religious lexis and imagery, you probably wouldn’t expect the music video to be something of a Quentin Tarantino bloodbath.
Watch the music video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVXauWq9Hwg
The music video is a visually stunning, cinematic, stunt packed experience that gives a clever and hilarious explanation to the insane high note Brendon delivers near the end of the song. Although it might take a second watch, the video ends with the sound of a faint heartbeat and has since been confirmed to be a prequel to ‘This is Gospel’ and subsequently also a prequel to ‘Emperor’s New Clothes.’ Possibly hinting at a more narrative based story line for subsequent videos from the album, maybe even a continuation to ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’ where we can finally see the kind of mischief Demon Brendon could embark on. I mean, we already know he likes to drive his fans insane with cryptic numbers and surprise shows.
Below is the confirmed track list for Pray for the Wicked, which differs slightly from the few hinted at via genius.com earlier in the week. Although, I’m disappointed to not see ‘Cult Cobain’ in the mix, maybe we can expect some bonus tracks once the album has been released on June 22nd.
Pray for the Wicked track list:
(Fuck A) Silver Lining
Say Amen (Saturday Night)
Hey Look Ma, I Made It
Dancing’s Not a Crime
One of the Drunks
King of the Clouds
Dying in LA
Review by Skye W. Winwood