Delivering one of (if not the) best album of 2009, Ellicott City, MD four-piece The Dangerous Summer‘s impacting rock album “Reach For The Sun” was a welcome surprise two years ago — which not only bolstered my faith in what I considered a stagnate genre, but also supplied some of the most honest lyricism and moving music that’s been recorded in a long time. All that said, when the groups new album “War Paint” was announced and its first single “Good Things” premiered in all of its HD lyric-video glory, time couldn’t pass fast enough till its scheduled release of July 19th, and a chance to hear it. If I could be sure of anything though, it was that The Dangerous Summer was sure to impart a wonderful piece of their evolving experience that we have all come to know and cherish.
As its apt title suggests, “War Paint,” is an effort that takes a deviation from the bands previous songs of romanticizing and inspiration, and instead chooses to delve into the conflicts in and solitude created from relationships. Of which a transparent paradigm-shift in AJ’s lyrics is easily noticed, trading memorable enchanting one-liners for emotionally pulling, burden-baring, words of caution and eventual solemn self discovery. Songs like “War Paint,” “And the ones i loved stopped answering. They left me to find my self. In my own hate. I work all alone with a cynical taste. And the day I get out, is the day I’ll be made.” and the illusion-free words of “Parachute,” “I feel it coming on, I parachute alone. I’m a life that’s not worth saving. It’s apparent I won’t slow down yet. I take control of that feeling you don’t care to believe in,” really paint a palpable emotional picture of the bands recent mindset. Despite the bands temperamental switch though, The Dangerous Summer still delivers fans, and new-comers alike, with one of the most compelling, and more importantly, honest, look into the dark places we don’t like to admit we take our bonds.
Musically, “War Paint” yo-yo’s between the bands traditional, visceral, and building alternative rock — filled with a pedal tray of guitar effects and AJ’s roughly passionate vocal belting and poetic whispers — and a rather unusual skippy, pop punk-tinged, rock with chipper guitars and quick percussion, a dichotomy that leaves for wonderful singles but a sometimes awkward straight-through listen. As the powerfully moving, self identifying song “Work In Progress” (acting as the albums best track – in a three-way tie with “Good Things” and “Waves”) gives such an exhaustingly pleasing performance, that it’s almost a shame that “No One’s Gonna Need You More” follows the serious track’s reverbed, heavy-breathing outro with such an upbeat set of instrumentation. Even with that though, every song has its own striking personality, ranging from brightly optimistic, “Good Things,” to the open conversation in the argumentative track, “Miscommunication,” and lastly reconciliation and progressing thoughts on “Waves;” all of which give such an intriguing and profound character to the record that is leagues ahead of what current artists are birthing now-a-days.
The Dangerous Summer has come so far since their first EP’s, touring endlessly and bewitching crowds, crafting a timeless masterpiece in “Reach For The Sun” — even (thankfully) releasing a complete acoustic release of it — and finally taking a bold step forward with “War Paint” as this time they delve deeper and reach for more than the sun, they grasp our thoughts and hearts and never let go. [Staff]
“Cause every lonely heart can use an honest song, they can sing along to.”
The Dangerous Summer – “No One’s Gonna Need You More”
Score: 5 (out of 5)
Release Date: July 19th, 2011
Record Label: Hopeless Records
Genre: Alternative Rock
RIYL: Valencia, The Graduate, The Starting Line
1. War Paint
2. Work In Progress
3. No One’s Gonna Need You More
4. Good Things
6. Everyone Left
8. I Should Leave Right Now
10. In My Room
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