The Dangerous Summer
War Paint


4.0
excellent

Review

by Davey Boy STAFF
July 17th, 2011 | 312 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "Because every lonely heart can use an honest song they can sing along to"

While many musicians require experimentation to keep them challenged and motivated, it is often over-emphasized to many bands detriment in the early stages of their career. The potential of recording the same album twice should only concern outfits who are lazy and/or looking to pander to the mainstream populous. In reality, natural growth and sensible refinement is often more than adequate in progressing from album to album, and that is exactly the method taken by Maryland quartet The Dangerous Summer on their second LP 'War Paint'.

In terms of refinement; it is most evident here in the form of the musicianship, especially the use of the dual guitar attack. Whereas the work of Cody Payne and Bryan Czap disappointingly took a back seat on predecessor 'Reach For The Sun', the lead guitar is especially prevalent on 'War Paint'. Beginning with a burst of energy, the opening title track is a good indicator of this, while the use of effects pedals to emphasize delay and reverb becomes more pronounced as the album progresses - reminding one of The Graduate's superb 2010 LP 'Only Every Time'. To this extent, an argument could be made that Paul Leavitt's production leans a little on the slick side, and could do with some extra diversity. 'War Paint' is undoubtedly a consistent album, but it may be too consistent, lacking a hook-filled true standout and excluding a genuine ballad for what would have been some welcome variety.

These perceived deficiencies put pressure on the aforementioned natural growth of The Dangerous Summer... Thankfully, they pass this test with flying colors, especially in relation to the extremely mature song-writing on offer. 'War Paint' may not be an album of 2011 contender, yet it challenges to be the most lyrically impressive, with numerous passages likely to strike a chord with listeners. If 'Reach For The Sun' posed questions which were open to interpretation, then 'War Paint' assuredly provides the answers. Moreover, there appears to be a realistic storyline arc in existence, further lending weight to the tales which are told. Captivating highlight 'Miscommunication' sounds like a free-flowing fly on the wall recording of a conversation, while the theme of self-discovery appears on the striking 'Parachute', the catchy 'Good Things', the emotional 'I Should Leave Right Now' and closer 'Waves'. It may best be communicated however on the title track, which offers:

"I was starting to shake from the days I’ve been up,
There’s a lot on my plate and the ones I loved stopped answering.
They left me to find myself 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".

"There wasn’t a trace of the war letting up and the days went on late.
I struggled and I fell to solid ground, it led me to my escape".

Of course, even the strongest of words can be wasted if they are not delivered with sincerity, heart and conviction - traits which front-man Andrew (AJ) Perdomo has in spades. With his distinctive, occasionally over-enunciating articulation reminding of Go Radio's Jason Lancaster, Perdomo is continuously honest and relatable, making a consistent connection with the undeniably personal subject matter. On rare occasions, his tone can feel a little over-bearing and could do with the use of an almost gimmicky gang or backing vocal, but as 'Work In Progress' proves, Perdomo is able to alter his range when the situation requires it. So while 'War Paint' is far from a perfect release, it's imperfections are - in a sense - exciting, since The Dangerous Summer have already proven that they do not require substantial experimentation in order to progress. Some sensible refinement here, and a little natural growth there, and album number three could very well be the classic the band seem capable of.

"You’ll find the courage to paint a world that burns like hell. Not for allure, but mostly for yourself. Because you needed escape in a dark kind of way. It’s a sentiment you’ll never get used to". ('Waves')

Recommended Tracks: Miscommunication, Work In Progress, Waves & War Paint.



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user ratings (219)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
Killahit (4.5)
Come on down, the fighting's over, I will let you breath my own air...

Crowe (4.5)
War Paint is essentially Reach For The Sun reborn and fine-tuned: enter the definitive album for the...

Adam Knott EMERITUS (4.5)
I'll take my chances to live again....


Comments:Add a Comment 
DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
July 17th 2011


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The most difficult parts of this review were (a) how to integrate the lyrics, and (b) which lyrics were used to best illustrate what the band were attempting to convey. Rightly or wrongly, I went with what I did, but here are some others which could have just as effectively got the job done:

- 'No One's Gonna Need You More': "I’ll still be wishing I was right there with you and all. Either way I am see through, either way I’m not strong. I was staring out to things I don’t want to face. I need back inside your veins. I’m dying out now".

- 'Good Things': "Irate, caught in the worst storm inside of me. Words start to feel misplaced, you can change what you want with your pen. I pray, as things start to feel much more possible. This time, I’ll know what to say. You can live how you want in these days".
: "That hole in my life and how it stayed inside my limbs, must have been caught up in my skin. Now I’ve relied on that I’ve changed".

- 'I Should Leave Right Now': "Well, I was dying to leave this place I know, traded it in for something I can relate to. I’ll find out who I really am. It takes some time, but maybe that’s okay. Trying to make my way past hope, do what I can with everything that I’ve been through. I’ll take my chances to live again".

- 'Parachute': "I’m seeing now what I’m doing to the people around me. I’m not supposed to care this much, and I ask myself; yeah, who am I?"
: "I will wake up fine in a place I love by myself. Yeah, it took some time, but at least I’m clear out of hell".

- 'In My Room': "In my room there’s a storm that will calm when I’m through".

Knott-
Emeritus
July 17th 2011


10195 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Damn it Davey, stop reviewing everything I'm reviewing.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
July 17th 2011


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sorry Adam. I can't help it that we both have great taste in music.

I can see your review being the entire lyric booklet copied out. ;-)

Knott-
Emeritus
July 17th 2011


10195 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Gonna have to be pretty awesome to top this so I might shoot for that after all.

This record rules.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
July 17th 2011


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hehe. Thanks.

Oooh, am I sensing a 4.5?

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
July 17th 2011


16021 Comments


I was going to review this too

I just got $50 worth of itunes for my bday so ill be picking this up

Digging: Yellowcard - Lift a Sail

Knott-
Emeritus
July 17th 2011


10195 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Definitely a 4.5.

Crowe
July 17th 2011


435 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I'll post mine when I can anyway.

Great work, Daveyboy.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
July 17th 2011


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ok, how about the entire Sputnik user-base review this. LOL.

Was wondering when you'd crash this party Crowe. Thanks man.

Fortheloveofmusic
July 17th 2011


491 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Haha I'll be posting my review the day it comes out too.

Amazing review, by the way

Crowe
July 17th 2011


435 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

More love all around.

I enjoy "Waves", but I get the feeling that it could have ended with "In My Room"

Fortheloveofmusic
July 17th 2011


491 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

In My Room is my favorite track, but I don't think it could have worked as a closer

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
July 17th 2011


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Haha, so there will be 4 reviews by release date. Who are these guys: Metallica? LOL.

Hmmm, I'm unsure what would have made the best closer tbh. I think that gets back to the consistency of the album. Maybe 'Parachute', which is a good thematical summation & has possibly the most striking guitar effects.

Fortheloveofmusic
July 17th 2011


491 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I actually love that these guys are getting so much attention here. I've been following them since "There Is No Such Thing As Science"

And I think Waves is perfect for the closer. Like I said in my Sound Off, it ends the story perfectly that I interpreted through the lyrics

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
July 17th 2011


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, I wasn't too certain of including the "storyline arc" point in the review just in case I was going crazy, but I agree that it's there.

HBFS
July 18th 2011


1259 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album rules, I think you may have broke a record in the recommended by reviewer section this time round

Digging: Banks - Goddess

po0ty
July 18th 2011


488 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

wish i saw these guys at warped. dl'ing album now though

henryChinaski
July 18th 2011


2759 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice review. I was thinking about a ballad respectively a slower track too, but it still works out pretty good without one i guess. The lyrics are really good. 'Miscommunication' is currently my favorite track.
I've seen a handful of people complaining about the drumming on this record not being as multifaceted as on RFTS since they recorded War Paint with Kyle Mueller Jordan instead of Tyler Minsberg (who in the meantime rejoined TDS), but he did a great job in my opinion.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
July 18th 2011


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nah Rowdy. 13 has always been my max. Lucky for some.

Actually, has anyone seen them live. They are down under in September at a festival & I may have a squizz.

Thanks Henry. Good to see we have the same highlight track. I just feel that AJ could really nail a slower track if he put his mind to it, and it would have been a nice change of pace. I agree with Adam's review that it shouldn't come artificially though.

I'll be honest; I thought Minsberg did do the drumming for this album. I'm pretty much neutral on the rhythm section on both albums. They do their job competently without standing out.

henryChinaski
July 18th 2011


2759 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah i agree. 'Northern Lights' had that 'change of pace'-effect on RFTS.
As for the drumming: I don't think it would have changed a lot if they had recorded with T. Minsberg. Also it's not a genre in which super complex drumming is necessary of course or rather would be out of place.
I'm really glad the lead guitar has taken over a way more significant role in comparison to RFTS which got somewhat tiring at some point although i still think it's a great record.

P.S. War Paint is a great opener.



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