The Dangerous Summer

War Paint

Written by: PP on 04/08/2011 06:47:26

The mark of a great band is when you can almost taste their influences but feel like someone's blindfolded you, so that you aren't actually sure exactly whom they sound like. The Dangerous Summer are one of those bands based on their sophomore album "War Paint", which has been garnering some serious critical acclaim across the internet. People have been throwing names like Valencia, The Graduate, My Chemical Romance, The Gaslight Anthem, The Starting Line and many others at them, but no-one seems to be entirely convinced that The Dangerous Summer sound like any of them, or anyone else for that matter.

The reason behind the confusion is simple: "War Paint" is an extremely varied album, one that takes you through contemplative pop punk, catchy alternative rock, introspective emo, indie-flavored rock and much more during its course. And it does all styles while retaining a sound that you can immediately associate to the band, because of a distinct guitar tone and an excellent vocalist who carries himself with an extraordinary amount of swagger and character in his voice to ensure you'll recognize him straight away.

But whatever the musical style, one common thread exists in all songs: they are extremely highly charged with emotion, to the extent that I'd almost compare their emotional depth to that of Brand New's. Much of this can be attributed to the brilliant lyrics that contain a thoughtful and introspective perspective to them, leading into countless memorable catchphrases (for the lack of a better expression) and moments where the emotional outpour is almost hand-touchable.

Strictly instrumentally speaking, however, the band reminds me of a more believable, more down-to-earth My Chemical Romance from their older days, but keep in mind that's just a nuanced flavor I get out of their music, not an exact comparison. The instruments are delivered at a slightly rough tone and in medium tempo, which isn't all that special on paper. What is special, however, is how the band has managed to dig deep into the heart and soul of each member, consequently resulting into ravaging climaxes where emotion and unadulterated passion meet in a tornado of powerful feelings and great melody. Sometimes that means anthemic choruses with great lyrics, such as on "Everyone Left", elsewhere that means bright guitar riffs that dance above the soundscape ("No One's Gonna Need You More" - where they sound a little like Gaslight Anthem) or creeping verse vocals that turn into My Chem style energetic alternative rock (think "Helena" or something here) during the chorus. In all cases, the band triumphs with their sound that's both original and familiar at the same time, one that feels a little nostalgic, but still fresh enough to matter in 2011. Most importantly, the songs are huge growers, so while they may start off as less-catchy compared to their brighter peers like Valencia or The Starting Line, the reward is much higher...which leads me to my rating: I'm undecided whether to grade it ½ a grade higher than I will do. You decide.

Download: Work In Progress, Everyone Left, Miscommunication
For the fans of: My Chemical Romance, The Graduate, Valencia
Listen: Myspace

Release date 19.07.2011
Hopeless Records

Good Things - The Dangerous Summer by Metal Blade

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