Review Summary: The Dangerous Summer blends the sounds of indie, alternative, and pop punk quite well. A wide range of influences and strong songwriting shape up an impressive debut EP.
Sometimes you just get this feeling in your stomach when you see a local band play. It’s a feeling of pure convincement. You just know if the band knew the right people or got in front of the right audience they could just skyrocket in popularity. I do very clearly remember my first experience seeing The Dangerous Summer live. Not because they opted to leave the stage after being told to skip a song they stated was about sex (hey it’s bound to happen at Christian based event right"). It was more so because I walked into the room they were playing in and got blown away by their sound. Their blend of indie, rock and pop punk was delivered so solidly and their unique vocals on top of it all had me convinced. This night was in February and several weeks later I saw them open a sold out show for All Time Low. Once more their sound continued to impress me and I walked out with their self released 5 song EP. I also walked out with the knowledge that more than half of the band still hadn’t graduated high school. Even with all of this talent and potential I never would have predicted the band exploding as fast as they do.
Fast forward two months; right before the beginning of summer they sign a record label with Hopeless Records. Three months later the group releases their Hopeless debut EP If You Could Only Keep Me Alive
after touring both coasts of the US. In about a year since being formed, the group has released an EP on their own, toured the US, racked up over a million plays on myspace, and eventually released an EP on a known Indie label, not too shabby huh" Well to be honest their success is not by luck or chance, it’s thanks to the extremely strong songwriting and the sound that is present. As previously stated, the band blends together indie and alternative influences with pop punk sensibility. They sure know how to use their effect pedals to their advantage as plenty of times spacey sounding riffs dominate the introductions and verses. It sets up for an enjoyable explosion for the chorus when they bring out open power chords and fitting leads. This format is used in “The Permanent Rain”
which has a spacey and moderately laid back feel to the verse thanks to a delay pedal. Things crescendo in the chorus as they once more make use of a delay pedal and bring a modified version of the main riff into play. The whole crescendo for the chorus is not really a new aspect, but the way they approach it is certainly interesting and unique.
Those same adjectives apply to their vocalist. Many young bands suffer in this department but AJ Perdomo is more than capable of handling vocal duties. He really shines in songs like “Here We Are After The Dark”
. The track is about as straightforward as the band gets, as it certainly shows a heavy dose of their pop punk influence. The distant riffs still shine in the background and the harmonics in the prechorus are a nice touch for this chord driven song. However, it is the bridge’s incredibly emotional state that really drives the song home. Lyrically it discusses the hardships of committing to a musical career. “But what if I was wrong" What if I should stay" Would you let me hold my breath/ tell me there's nothing more to say" Or would you change" Become disgraced" Say, "Boy, there's nothing I hate more than seeing talent go to waste"" I'll take my time with everything. I'll take my time, and you can show me where to go”
. The passionate delivery behind those words is absolutely stunning and the dual vocal outro is one of the most emotional moments of the record. Powerful lyrics, solid instrumentals, and some stand out drum fills from Tyler make for an incredible song. “Disconnect”
is yet another song that shows how impressive their subtle riffs can be. They once more go for a clean and fairly mellow verse which perfectly showcases their subtlety guitar and drum wise. The chorus really doesn’t explode as much as one might expect. They don’t overdo it one bit and it really works out to their benefit. The rapid octave strums in the background have the perfect pinch of reverb on them and the additional vocal work by none other than Alex Gaskarth of All Time Low make the chorus as strong as it should be. It once more shows off their trademark crescendo as they pick things up nicely. They do all of this without making the chorus overshadow the rest of the song, which is quite commendable. Their impressive song construction and variety in sounds is outstanding, as The Dangerous Summer have a lot of good going for them.
Strong songwriting, talented musicianship, hooks, and creativity are all present throughout The Dangerous Summer’s debut EP. They certainly have a unique arrangement of influences and a sound that is only destined to blossom from here. Already they have a respectable amount of individuality and as the years progress I can only predict this to increase. The only complaint here is the slight repetition of topics in lyrics. But they are written so well that that complaint sounds more like nitpicking. There is a commendable amount of diversity in the music, especially for a debut. They blend alternative, indie, rock and pop punk together quite successfully and the end result is some catchy tunes with plenty of depth instrumentally. Sure they can dish out some impressive choruses, but it’s their equally strong verses, tempo changes, tasteful utilization of effects and merging of new sections that really makes their sound a success. If You Could Only Keep Me Alive
really captures the genesis of the band, as four of these songs were on the group’s first ever self released EP. With a start this impressive, the sky is the limit as far as where the future will lead this band.
The band as heard on this record
Ajay Perdomo – lead vocals and bass
Cody Payne – guitar and backing vocals
Tyler Minsberg – drums
Bryan Czap – guitar
-The Permanent Rain
-Here We Are After The Dark
Final Rating: 4/5