Review Summary: Dangers make diverse and technical changes to their sound resulting in their best overall record.
Southern California's Dangers represent a balance of heaviness and intelligence found in very little hardcore music today. Comparisons are pointless as the group neither strives for originality nor imitation. They just play music they feel should aid the topics they have written about. Dangers' previous record 'Anger' seemed to revolve around the ideas of cathartic resolution through mediated aggression. The band seemed to be aching to get across their views and judgements on a world gone awry. 'Messy, Isn't It' takes a different approach. Rather than trying to force their ideas upon the listener Dangers just lets them be known. The instrumental side of 'Messy, Isn't It' is also an improvement in similar ways. 'Anger' relied on tracks that were diverse, but pretty strict when it came to song structure. 'Messy, Isn't It' blends a penchant for untraditional song structures with a more sophisticated style of heaviness. The change in the musical side of Dangers is unsurprising as the line-up has shifted a few times since 2005's 'Anger,' most notably is the inclusion of Justin Smith of Graf Orlock fame on lead guitar.
Dangers overall presentation on 'Messy, Isn't It' is much cleaner and more carefully constructed than on 'Anger'. Perhaps the time between full lengths explains that change, as the band may have been working on some of these songs for years. Dangers has certainly sped up their sound with tracks like 'Check, Please,' which moves much more quickly than slower, expanding tracks like 'My Wonder Years Never Got Cancelled' from 'Anger'. That isn't to say that the band still doesn't also focus on the slower sound that defined their last record. 'Opposable' and 'Tarantula Type' both revert back to the slower sound of 'Anger'. The constant changing of tempo keeps 'Messy, Isn't It' from being repetitive and in general just makes it a much better listen. The one negative issue of Dangers' latest record is it still lacks the unbridled perfection of their live show. Is this necessarily an issue that can be tackled? No, but the point must be made that a band with as powerful a live show as this one should be able to piece together a great record at some point. As it sits now Dangers have two remarkably good records and one hell of a live performance. It seems plausible that is all they will ever need to remain one of the highlights of hardcore in the new decade.