by Richard Hart
Maryland rock band “The Dangerous Summer” will release their third album soon. Golden Record is an angsty, bombastic, balls out piece of music that will likely be popular with their fan base and perhaps even bring a wave of new devotees to them.
Marylander’s AJ Perdomo, Cody Payne, Matt Kennedy and Ben Cato are a classic four part band. There have been some changes to their line up since their debut in 2006 but they are an experienced act with two previous albums under their belt.
Taking their name from a book by a fairly pompous writer about a fairly horrible subject, the band have some artistic aspirations but their music is generally highly accessible. Their lyrics are often quite dark and the tortured vocals of the lead singer are about the normal tropes of this sort of music, love, loss, death and ex.
The tone of the songs is generally a bit doom laden but there is a brightness to the lushly produced music, heavy in effects work and deeply layered that may hark to acts like VAST and A Perfect Circle but the music isn’t as outwardly dark as that.
The band claim that Bright Eyes and Jimmy Eat World are influences and both show as an influence. They also cite U2 as an influence and the grandiose, self-assured and somewhat ego-driven music style does come across. It’s easy to imagine the band as a swaggering bunch of modern rockers rather than drain-pipe wearing emo kids.
With more than six years as an effective unit, their production should be good and their experience as a band shines through . The music is well created and layered together. The guitar is hard hitting without being overpowering. The lyrics, strained and somewhat angsty, are often delivered in the same fashion in every track which does start to grate after a while. The drummer does his best and sometimes his work shines through in tracks like “Honesty”.
The dark, edgy guitar work in “Drowning” is probably the highlight of the album which weaves around an imploring chorus. This track has a strong identity which stands in stark relief to a number of the other tracks which, whilst they improve the more you listen to them, sound quite similar to each other.
The wordy, gothic “We Will Wait in the Fog” is a touch different in some ways but the drumming in it is just a bit overpowering. In the end, the album’s own strengths of its solid production and well-tuned and crafted music can’t quite outweigh the fact that it all feels a bit predictable, a bit comfortable, a bit trite. The band come across as a poor man’s Biffy Clyro and the vocals come across as part Biffy and part Linkin Park.
No doubt this album will be a lot of people’s idea of a really good one and they’ll love it. It’ll sound good on their IPod’s and will make a good accompaniment to the summer. But I imagine come the autumn it’ll already be getting less plays and come the winter, it’ll be forgotten.