For Fans Of
Back in 2009, a young 4-piece known as The Dangerous Summer released an album that was hailed as one of the best releases of that year, that album was called Reach For The Sun. Now, in 2011, this band is back with their second full length, War Paint. With such high expectations to live up to this album could have easily become a mess. But anyone who has been waiting two years for this release can rest assured that the wait was well and truly worth it. This band have grown and matured far beyond the 22 months since the release of RFTS.
In creating War Paint, The Dangerous Summer has crafted an album that has an amount of honesty, sincerity and heart rarely seen in not only the music currently being made and released, but also the general human population. Through his lyrics, vocalist AJ Perdomo wears his heart on his sleeve in a way most front men cannot and most people are afraid of. This time around there is a clear shift in the lyrical content. The band has traded memorable and quotable one-liners for emotionally pulling, soul-baring verses. The lyrics paint a clear picture of the mental journey The Dangerous Summer has taken over the last two years.
The album takes us on an emotional voyage. The Dangerous Summer delves into the dark places we hide away sometimes, the places where our heartbreak lives, where we question ourselves, where we question others, but on this 45 minute journey the band come full circle.
Every song has its own striking personality, as if you are meeting a new part of The Dangerous Summer’s emotions with every layer. The album begins with title track “War Paint” which opens with a thundering cascade of guitars, bass and drums, immediately pulling you into the album. Eventually these quieten down to make room for Perdomo’s vocals. This is the main focus of the entire album. Each track uses the guitar work of Cody Payne and Bryan Czap, bass lines played by Perdomo and drumbeats from Spencer Peterson to carry the vocals and lyrics, but never overshadow or get in the way of them. The title track begins the emotional journey, painting a picture of heartbreak; "I struggled/And I fell to solid ground/It led me to my escape/Now here i am outside of your gate/I was hoping you could come down". Next track “Work In Progress” begins the mission of repairing yourself. It ends in a deep, breathy outro and Perdomo’s raw vocals are hauntingly beautiful. “No One’s Gonna Need You More” is a strange follow on as the music is upbeat and bouncy. These two tracks provide a look at the two contrasting song types used throughout the album. The emotional journey still continues as it does through all the tracks. “Good Things” brings the first glimpse of optimism, as the tempo of the album slows back down. The open conversation in the argumentative track “Miscommunication” is a highlight of the album. It is the first beginning of the moving on process and is another track that utilises bouncy guitar lines and drum beats. “In My Room” uses the other general type of song on the album; it slows the tempo down with stripped back instruments ensuring the vocals are the main focus. Finally, by the time we get to closer “Waves” the journey has come full circle. Reconciliation with himself and the world has been reached. “And maybe it’s enough to move us on, from where we started from” is the final line of the album and every drumbeat, guitar and bass line and every word carries this feeling.
There is always a place for pure, honest music, full of substance and lacking all the gimmick that has sadly found it’s place in today’s music industry. It is an album that is meant to be played live and screamed by thousands of fans. It will provide just as much therapy for audiences as it will for the band. War Paint is the most beautiful and honest creation that has been released in a long time.
In 2011, The Dangerous Summer has provided fans and newcomers alike with one of the most compelling, honest and refreshing looks into the dark places our relationships with ourselves and others hide sometimes. Here is a soundtrack to help you come to terms with the wars we fight everyday in the emotional battlefield known as life. From struggle there is growth, and from heartbreak there is hope. This time around The Dangerous Summer are reaching for something much harder to grasp than the sun. They have donned their war paint and delved much deeper, into the places where our hearts and thoughts hide our darkest emotions, and they aren’t letting go.
1. War Paint
2. Work In Progress
3. No One’s Gonna Need You More
4. Good Things
6. Everyone Left
8. I Should Leave Right Now
10. In My Room