Debuting their first album, A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out, in 2005, Panic! At The Disco is still going strong eight years later with the release of their most recent album, Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die in the beginning of October,2013.
I was very excited when their new album was released, but when I told this to a friend she said something that I have heard on multiple occasions, “Don’t they just copy everything Fall Out Boy does?”
While I can understand the initial confusion between the bands sound as Brendon Urie, the lead singer of Panic! At The Disco and Patrick Stump, the lead singer of Fall Out Boy, have similar singing voices, they do not have similar singing styles. Stump’s almost mumbling belting of lyrics distances the two singers in this aspect alone, but there is also a leaning towards scream-o that is not as present in Panic! songs.
The style of music that Panic! At The Disco plays is quite different from Fall Out Boy and has continued to change style and experiment over the years, while Fall Out Boy has had more consistency and matured into their style. Panic!’s A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out had a more pop-punk, emo, sometimes described vaudeville style, than their second album, 2008’s Pretty. Odd., which is described as being heavily influenced by bands such as The Beatles. That year Fall Out Boy’s Folie á Deux was also released. The iTunes review of the album, mentions both bands are influenced by 1960’s rock, “First Panic at the Disco dropped the exclamation mark and donned trippy marching uniforms for the psychedelic pastiche Pretty, Odd, now Fall Out Boy follow with Folie á Deux, a record that doesn’t attempt to re-create the sound but the spirit of 1967 [.…]”
However, when comparing the two bands side by side, Panic! incorporates more use of synthesizers and electronic sound, whereas Fall Out Boy has a slightly harder edge to their sound, going back to the band members days of being in hardcore rock groups. While Fall Out Boy’s style has changed since their first album, Take This To Your Grave, it has reached a more matured change, evidence of a band who’s been working to perfect their sound.
While on the other side, Panic! At the Disco seems to want to try new things for each album. There is less of the electro, emo sound of A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out in Panic!’s Pretty. Odd. but it returns in the following album Vices and Virtues. This style is also featured in Too Rare to Live, To Weird to Die but with more of pop sound.
It is also important to remember that Panic! at the Disco got their start because of Fall Out Boy. When Panic! At The Disco was first starting to put songs together, they decided to send some of their samples to Pete Wentz, the lyricist and bass player of Fall Out Boy, who liked the band so much he signed them to Decaydance Records, an imprint of Fueled by Ramen. Panic! had not played a single show before they were signed, but almost immediately they became famous. The two bands still work together now and again it seems. On Folie á Deux, Brendon Urie is featured in the songs “20 Dollar Nose Bleed” and “What a Catch, Donnie”. The two bands also toured together recently in September.
So while it seems that the bands may have some similarities, it doesn’t appear that one is “copying” the other, but more being influenced by each other while still keeping true to each’s overall style and direction.
Although hearing both singers together is still a little weird. Or maybe just awesome?