Don’t Panic Unveils ‘Setting Up To Fail’: A Sonic Triumph Years in the Making Don't Panic
Reviewed by Sam Lowry

Don’t Panic’s third album, ‘Setting Up To Fail,’ marks their triumphant return, fusing matured songwriting influenced by punk and rock legends, shaping their unique sonic identity.

In the heart of Northeastern Pennsylvania's rugged terrain, where the Pocono Mountains cast their shadow, a rock and pop-punk quintet known as Don't Panic has been stirring up a sonic storm. Named after the literary favorite by Douglas Adams, the band's third full-length album, 'Setting Up To Fail,' hit the streets on August 25, heralding their triumphant return to the spotlight.

Formed back in 2009, this outfit isn't a stranger to the scene. Anchored by founding vocalist and guitarist Ted Felicetti, Don't Panic's lineup also boasts Keith Slader on bass, Anthony Paesano on drums, and AJ Larsen on guitar. From the outset, their mission was clear-cut and refreshingly simple: to make music that encapsulated the pure essence of genuine, unadulterated rock and roll fun.

After a nearly decade-long hiatus that concluded in 2019, Don't Panic burst back onto the scene with the release of their first full-length offering, 'See Through It All,' in 2020. The follow-up, 'Dark Horse,' arrived in September 2021, cementing their resurgence as a force to be reckoned with in the PA music landscape.

Bearing the influence of bands like Bayside, Millencolin, Foo Fighters, and No Use for a Name, 'Setting Up To Fail' is the culmination of relentless touring across the United States and the United Kingdom. Their live performances, which have seen them share stages with luminaries such as Less than Jake, Bowling for Soup, and The Ataris, have undoubtedly left an imprint on their creative process.

In Ted Felicetti's words, "We have been at it for 4 years now. Powered through a worldwide pandemic and wrote and released two albums in that time. But, I can say without a shadow of a doubt, this new record is this band finally stepping into its own." It's evident that 'Setting Up To Fail' is more than just a collection of songs – it's a statement of identity, a sonic testament to the amalgamation of influences that have shaped Don't Panic's musical journey.

Felicetti's songwriting bears the hallmark of maturity, a testimony to the band's growth since their inception. In an earnest fusion of the punk roots they've nurtured through bands like Face to Face and No Use for a Name, and the rock legends that raised them, such as the Foo Fighters, Don't Panic have found their stride. As Felicetti aptly puts it, the album carries the DNA of bands like Bayside and the Menzingers, but it's also an assertion of their own sonic signature.

What's on the horizon for these sonic adventurers? A road beckons, paved with good times and Miller Lites, traversed alongside their friends. Because, in the end, as 'Setting Up To Fail' resoundingly declares, it's the shared moments and the music that truly matter. And in their resounding return, Don't Panic has ensured their place in the ever-evolving tapestry of the punk scene.

Tour Dates:

8.25 @ Sherman Showcase: Stroudsburg, PA

9.1 @ 24th St. Park: Virginia Beach, VA w/ Bowling for Soup

9.16 @ River St Jazz Cafe: Plains, PA w/ Cold

10.7 @ Amityville Music Hall: Amityville, NY

10.25 @ PrePre Fest (Wills Pub): Orlando, FL

10.26 @ Pre Fest (High Dive): Gainesville, FL

10.27 @ Mutiny Bar: Ocala, FL

10.28 @ Fest 21: Gainesville, FL

10.29 @ The Masquerade: Atlanta, GA

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