Review Summary: The future of pop-punk?
The Dangerous Summer were your typical young pop punk band on there debut EP “If Only You Could Keep Me Alive”. The lyrics on the album seemed to try to define young life, relationships and being free but ended up being to immature, simple, and inconsistent. The instrumentation was to water downed and it seemed like on every song you were hearing the same exact riff and the same beat on every one of the seven songs. The songs themselves were also not of the highest quality and did not flow well together even though they sounded alike. The Dangerous Summer though at times showed there great potential on this EP as they were fueled by some powerful riffs (even though they did seem to repeat themselves), good drumming (even though it was inconsistent), and a singer that could have one of the most distinct voices in pop-punk. If The Dangerous Summer could improve there lyrics in a way that used there singers original voice perfectly, produce a great variety of songs, and make good songs that flowed together they could be the future of pop-punk. The Dangerous Summer would try to do this on “Reach for the Sun”, but did they succeed?
The lyrics on “Reach For The Sun” are a drastic improvement over the lyrics on the EP “If Only You Could Keep Me Alive”. The lyrics perfectly describe the struggles in growing up and finding happiness in life, the breakdown to “Where I Want To Be” is the best example of this. The breakdown says that no matter how many struggles we face, it could always be worse and really it’s not that bad. The EP’s lyrics would have just stated how bad the times the character was facing were and would not show the rapid maturation that has occurred in his life. This to me is a drastic improvement and even makes the album somewhat unique in the world of pop-punk. Even the most depressing songs such as “A Space To Grow” have a air of hope in the lyrics. The most important thing lyrically though is that the singer sounds like he feels comfortable singing the lyrics, which is a big difference from the forced choruses and unoriginal verses that litter “If Only You Could Keep Me Alive”. The singer sounds like he is singing an autobiography of his own life or a biography of a character he has created and is very comfortable singing very personal lyrics which to me is a special quality to have. If you have the courage to sing about very personal experiences and journeys in your life without hesitation then the quality of music will go up, and in my opinion the music will be even better if the singer can tell us how he overcame these issues. The lyrics on “Reach For The Sun” are an improvement over those on “If Only You Could Keep Me Alive”, because they fit the vocals of the singer and are very honest.
The instrumentation is also improved on “Reach For The Sun”. The album features a nice mixture of “loud” songs and “soft” songs that flow together nicely. For every “A Space To Grow”, a epic hard rocking narrative of the singers life, there is a “Reach For The Sun” a soft song that is very laid back and catchy. Besides the album not just being made up of generic pop-punk songs the album is also much improved in overall instrumental work. The occasional guitar solo, the in rhythm drumming, and even some piano playing in the background of a couple of tracks give the album a distinct feel that the previous EP lacked severely. The tracks also flow well together and it sounds like a cohesive album, it is always impressive when a band can make tracks flow together that sound a lot different from each other, and this is apparent here on songs such as “Symmetry” and “Surfaced” and “The Permanent Rain” and “Northern Lights”. While the album doesn’t flow together on an elite level, its flows well enough to make “Reach For The Sun” sound like a very solid album.
The songs on “Reach For The Sun” are also very good individually. The opening track “Where I Want to Be” features a good beat, an extremely catchy chorus, and a breakdown that is very emotional, reflective, and overall just a breathtaking way to start the album. “Settle Down” continues the personal theme of the album and perfectly expresses the singer’s discontent with the world. “Surfaced”, is one of the better songs on the album because it combines all of the bands strengths into one song. The riff in the song is very solid, the drumming is the most impressive on the album, and the chorus will be stuck in your head for days. “A Space To Grow”, shows the undeniable progress the band has made from there first EP. The lyrics on here are sick (good) and the song is original for the band because it features multiple breakdowns and is one of the longer songs on the album. “Northern Lights”, is a brilliant soft song with a great chorus and probably the most instrumental simplicity yet originality on the whole album. The lyrics have a lot of good one liners and seem to fit the singers personality perfectly. The other songs are also solid, and “Never Feel Alone” is a great conclusion to the album
Are The Dangerous Summer the future of pop-punk? Probably not since I am predicting it, but they sure have all the qualities to be and if they keep improving to be a great overall band. This album features a lot of good songs and is recommended for any fans of the genre or the band in general.
You need to know what you're into;
I'll tell you I'm a god damn piece of work.