Review Summary: A decent enough debut, but Dangerkids need a dose of variety...
Dangerkids is a band from Dayton, Ohio. However, they sound like they hail from a certain park. Yes, I'm referring to Linkin Park, if Linkin Park had gone post-hardcore. Almost everything else checks out. Band leader who raps? Check. Co-vocalist who sings and screams? Check. Electronic-heavy sound? Check. At times, Tyler Smyth's flow even resembles Mike Shinoda's. Andy Bane's clean vocals are deeper than Chester Bennington's, and his screams are more rooted in metalcore. Like Brad Delson, you can barely tell that Dangerkids guitarist Jake Bryant is even there at times.
The Linkin Park worship begins right away. "Countdown" opens with electronic crackle before Bane screams "let's go!" and Smyth's rapping begins under a beat made of hand-claps(!) before the noise comes together. "Light Escapes" is so Linkin Park it hurts, right down to the Linkin Park shoutout in the first verse by Smyth. However, to juxtapose the LP influence, songs like "We're All In Danger" has an almost pop-punk influence along with post-hardcore. "We're All In Danger" is probably the most straight-forward rock song here, along with "Fractions". Otherwise, the formula on Collapse is mostly electronic-driven verses and heavy choruses. "Hostages" is a textbook example, complete with chugging riffs in the pre-chorus. Admittedly, most of this sounds like what Linkin Park would do, and I can't dispute that.
My main criticism of Collapse is that it all starts to run together after awhile. Tyler Smyth and Andy Bane are good vocalists, but things start to feel predictable as Collapse goes on: rapped verses from Smyth with the occasional interjection of screams from Bane, followed by a clean-sung chorus. The music mostly follows the same suit: electronic-driven verses with guitar buried in the mix that lead into big-sounding choruses. The bass guitar as a result literally does not exist on Collapse due to all the other noises going on. The drums are compressed like a hamburger patty, pounding away on the hip-hop inspired beats without really going anywhere. I'll be upfront about it, the production on Collapse sucks ass. It's mushy as hell.
Dangerkids play a style of music that most people got over a decade ago, updated for the EDM age. To be even more blunt, the five members of Dangerkids literally sound like they grew up on Linkin Park's first two records. To call Dangerkids a nu-metal band would be a disservice to them, but they're certainly Linkin Park-esque. In an age where almost every band on Rise Records is playing some God-awful brand of 2nd-rate metalcore, it's nice to hear a band on that label doing anything besides that. However, what Dangerkids have chosen to do is something that frankly sounds dated, and they overdo it. Collapse is a decent enough debut album, but if Dangerkids doesn't add something to their sound to make them more unique instead of just being Linkin Park 2.0, they'll be destined for a career of playing second fiddle on Project Revolution tours.