Formed back in 2006, Maryland’s The Dangerous Summer found themselves signed to Hopeless Records by 2007, and released their full-length debut ‘Reach For The Sun’ a couple of years later. Two more records were released before the band went on a nearly five-year hiatus, fuelled by both creative differences and frontman AJ Perdomo‘s decision to focus on fatherhood.
Well, The Dangerous Summer are now officially back as a trio with their self-titled album. With a more mellow sound, the record represents a coming of age for the band whilst still remaining honest to their roots.
Kicking things off with the catchy ‘Color’ – a nostalgic and deeply personal track – may seem like a strange track to begin an album with. However, the sonic atmospherics set a feeling that conjures memories of summertime and festivals, presenting the band’s reflection on the past five years that they’ve been taking some timeout. Although not a standout moment, it sets the mood perfectly for the album to follow.
Tracks such as ‘Luna’, which is dedicated to Perdomo‘s daughter, and ‘When I Get Home’ further highlight the lyrical maturity surrounding the band. It’s clear that they’ve diverged completely from their first EP release ‘There Is No Such Thing As Science’, and have progressed in both maturity and style.
Picking up the pace slightly, ‘This Is Life’ presents the more fun and upbeat side of The Dangerous Summer, with ‘Fire’ heavily reinforcing this. Easily a stand out on the album, the song appreciates the road of life with compositional complexity and fun lyrics, and, although keeping in tune with this nostalgic outlook, it presents a less mundane approach than previous cuts.
Another standout is the marching pace of ‘Live Forever’, an emo anthem for anyone that is dealing with the aspect of what the future may hold, and will easily be a crowd favourite live. With lyrics presenting life advice, the track moves the band perfectly towards the meandering ‘Infinite’, which ends the collection with stellar guitars and a glittery touch that resonates beyond its conclusion.
While ten songs can often feel like a short journey, The Dangerous Summer do a solid job of injecting every personal ounce of themselves into their self-titled return, giving quality confessions and reflecting on the past. The record is relatively low key, extremely emotive, and very polished. It may be missing the anguished screams and upbeat melodies of their older work, but it’s still a stellar effort.
Written by Hannah Strong (@hannaah_strong)