REVIEW: The Dangerous Summer – ‘Golden Record’

Golden Record

Artist: The Dangerous Summer
Album: Golden Record
Genre: Rock
Label: Hopeless Records

The Dangerous Summer have answered to 2011’s jaw-dropping effort, War Paint, with the blisteringly authentic new album, Golden Record. Brilliantly diverse in stepping away from previous releases, while still undeniably The Dangerous Summer, Golden Record gives listeners a new look into a band fully emerged in a career evolution. Many songs on the record show a natural progression one can only expect from a band that has found such acclaimed success so early in their career. Golden Record does not fail in containing some of the best tracks fans have ever heard from this act.

The record opens with the dramatic and emotional first single, “Catholic Girls,” which does a sound job of setting the tone for the tracks to come. “Catholic Girls” embodies what The Dangerous Summer does best by creating a passive-aggressive musical atmosphere, while frontman AJ Perdomo bellows relentlessly transparent vocal lines. Perdomo does a fantastic job of being brutally honest yet again on Golden Record, it can be argued The Dangerous Summer built their fan base on being so unavoidably relatable in their lyricism, which continues to hold true. For example, the forth number, “Knives,” sends chills down the spine when the chorus of “And I will always return to you / ’cause in a way I belong to you.”

While a solid listen from start to finish, there are certain tracks on Golden Record that capture just how fantastic The Dangerous Summer can be when on-point. The closing track, “Anchor,” is arguably the most well composed track of the band’s career. It contains a blissful chorus that flows in between verses of calm reflection. “Sins” also does a spectacular job of standing out amongst the others on the record, with a bridge lead by the melodic agony Perdomo successfully portrays. Golden Record contains some of the best songs we have yet to see from The Dangerous Summer and proves to be another great collection to what is shaping up to be one of the best discographies of this decade.

Rating: 9/10
Review by: Matthew Leimkuehler (@callinghomematt)

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  • SexualTyranosaurus

    9/10? Negator, ghost rider. I understand being a fan, but a 9 of 10 is near perfection. Not even TDS’ best album ‘Reach for the Sun’ is a 9. This effort falls somewhere lower, by my math.

    The shining aspect of this album is that, musically, TDS still captures some of their effect-laden, spacey rock. In fact, the roster changes for “Golden Record” are welcome after some of the dialed in performances from War Paint (notably Tyler Minsberg’s, which was a stark departure from his competent and creative drum work on “Reach for the Sun”). Where the album ends up being a resounding pressing of mediocrity, though, is everywhere else.

    Songs bleed into one another with the rare standout (‘Knives,’ ‘Sins,’ ‘Anchor’), and largely, AJ’s vocals on this outing boil down to him actually singing, or just screeching at a near painful level. There’s skill in conveying emotion in a song without sounding like you’ve had your hand smashed with a ball-peen hammer, and it’s a shame AJ took a page from the Conor Oberst playlist on some of these tracks. The emotion is there, the lyrics are adequate and largely better than their peers, but this album loses a lot of character to a droning cacophony of whiny vocals. When AJ is on, he’s still on, but it’s rarer than in past outings.

    On the positive note – the album (on spotify, at least) features a few ‘revisited’ tracks. These tracks are mellowed out considerably from their primary versions, and in most cases are better for it. They’re a welcome addition.

    Long and short, not a bad album, but certainly not a great one. And chronologically (for a point of reference), TDS’ weakest major album – not counting their EP. (RFTS: 8/10, WP:6/10)

    5/10 (which is middle-ground average, people – and that’s not a bad thing, really).