Founded in 2004 by school friends Ryan Ross, Brendan Urie, Brent Wilson and Spencer Smith, Panic! At the Disco started out by covering tracks by Blink-182. After sending a demo tape to Fall Out Boys bass-player, Pete Wentz, the band was signed to Decaydance Records, without having played a live gig.
Panic! At the Disco is also hailed as being partly responsible for the second wave of emo-rock, in the early Noughties. With their melancholy melodies, goth-style lyrics and crunching guitars, songs such as I Write Sins Not Tragedies and Nearly Witches set the template for other eyeliner-slathered bands.
However, the band hasn’t been afraid to play with their formula. Pretty.Odd. saw them absorb influences from 60s psychedelia, with lyrics that sounded more like a stream of consciousness than anything they’d written before.
While there have been more than a few line-up changes, Panic’s fundamental sound and attitude remain unchanged.