Written by: BL on 25/12/2013 07:37:27

Whether people realise it or not, the late 90s/early 00s nu-metal is somehow beginning to see a resurgence amongst the underground scenes. More and more post-hardcore and metalcore bands are now starting to incorporate such influences as Korn, Slipknot, and Limp Bizkit into the forefront of their sound (Issues, Attila, Of Mice & Men to name a few), and Dayton Ohio Dangerkids are yet another example. Their direct influence for their début album "Collapse" to speak of is actually in the form of the once iconic nu-metal band Linkin Park's early days - mixing the signature rap, the electronics, and the anthemic choruses components with modern metalcore/post-hardcore elements like low harsh screams, the groovy guitars and the breakdowns. It's a bit of strange concoction admittedly and a lot of times one is also hard pressed to deny the overt homage.

Vocalist Tyler Smyth does a pretty uncanny job of being Mike Shinoda, as on "Collapse" throughout his rapping sounds close to identical to the aforementioned Linkin Park man. His technique and mannerisms are so similar in fact that at least personally speaking, it's listening to a like for like impression on songs like "Light Escapes". For Linkin Park fans this comes as a pleasing element of the Dangerkids sound, though the obvious caveat is that Smyth has hardly any distinguishing features of his own. Perhaps it is fortunate that fellow vocalist Andy Bane who does the screaming and clean vocals differentiates himself well enough to not make the vocals department a cover act entirely. One way or another, songs such as "Countdown" and "Hostage" demonstrate from the beginning that Dangerkids are adept at crafting expert interplay from said vocals standpoint. The choruses in particular are exceptionally memorable with almost every song and there is a real re-playability/sing-along factor to be enjoyed on particularly on ones like "Hostage" and "Destroy Yourself", where the melodies stay with you long after.

Unfortunately "Collapse" is a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to its less than unique instrumentals. There is ultimately nothing too exciting about the way dance electronics or samples on songs like "We're All In Danger" or "Waking Up" are deployed even if they do in fact work pretty well. Or consider the guitar play of Jake Bryant - simplistic riffs, straightforward power chord progressions, and the odd breakdown all feels like clean but pedestrian metalcore at best even if the solid production adds a rather slick finish. Finally, and perhaps the biggest complaint to be had is that quite a few of the songs stick to the same verse-chorus structure or reuse the same sounding parts (finisher "Cut Me Out" feels somewhat like the first two tracks combined at times). One exception to that is "Unmade" which makes for an enjoyable change up at the mid way point. The laid back, stripped down verses followed by the upbeat electronics soaked choruses allows both vocalists to really shine in their respective individual contributions.

In the end, "Collapse" does manage to get enough things right even if it's not the completely invigorating addition to the scene one could have hoped - it's just so damn catchy. Coincidentally the things that could do with improvement are actually arguments that could have been made against LP's "Hybrid Theory"/"Meterora" era (the minimalistic guitar work, the power chords etc...) which is amusing in its own strange way. As is, you could do a lot worse than checking this out if you enjoy post-hardcore/metalcore and have a soft spot for Linkin Park.


Download: Light Escapes, Hostage, Destroy Yourself
For the fans of: Linkin Park, We Came As Romans, I See Stars
Listen: Facebook

Release date 17.09.2013
Rise Records

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