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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Saturday, April 20, 2024

Cheeses of Suburbia: I Eat Sticks Not Tragedies


Zachary Hertz (ZH): Because our penultimate guest is Chris Aragon, who went vegan to see if people could eat delicious food on a restrictive diet, I procured vegan mozzarella sticks from Veggie Galaxy in Central Square. Thoughts?

Chris Aragon (CA): As a disclaimer, vegan cheese is pretty unsatisfactory. It’s not bad, but they’re still working out the bugs.

Brady Shea (BS): I wouldn’t eat it normally, but if I were vegan, I’d live for this. Compared to an actual mozzarella stick, though, I’d have to give it a 4/10.

CA: There’s detail in the crisp. You can tell from the texture that there are spices and herbs in the breading, and they put effort into it. They’re a cute novelty and good to get once, so overall I’d say 7/10.

ZH: It tastes like a lab-grown mozzarella stick, which it kind of is. 5/10 at best. Brady, tell us about the album: Panic! At The Disco’s “A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out” (2005).

BS: Pete Wentz heard Panic!’s demo on Myspace, drove to Las Vegas and signed them to his label, and within a year, this album came out and they were doing arena tours.

CA: I don’t like “Nails for Breakfast, Tacks for Snacks” much because of the autotune -- it’s like Cher made a metal album. Also, what even is “Lying Is the Most Fun a Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off" about?

ZH: I mean, I think it’s their most straightforward. The narrator can’t stop thinking about an ex that cheated, and the chorus is the toxic incel-like mindset that followed.

BS: That song versus “But It’s Better If You Do” showcases the contrast between the halves of this album. The first is very much in the style of Fall Out Boy, but at “Intermission,” they transition to a more experimental sound where the instrumentation expands.

ZH: They really establish themselves as Panic! in the second half. Two songs draw their titles from a movie quote -- “Lying is the most fun a girl can have without taking off her clothes, but it’s better if you do” -- which brings the themes from the first half into the new sound by the second and transitions perfectly into “I Write Sins Not Tragedies.”

BS: Build God, Then We'll Talk” paints a picture of a run-down motel and the guests. There’s a virgin staying with a lawyer to get a job, and the lyric “What a wonderful caricature of intimacy” is dripping with irony. A lot of songs use lyrics to describe emotion, but this song conveys a story through exceptional lyricism for a debut.

ZH: I love the middle of this album but the rest is forgettable to me. Still, a solid 7/10.

CA: That was spectacular for a first album. Sometimes it felt like they couldn’t decide between being pop or metal, but their later discography does. I like that they took risks to develop their own style, though, so I’d say a 9/10.

BS: I can’t think of a stronger debut from any band. 9/10.