The Dangerous Summer have always had a knack on intertwining emo rock with a genuine reflection of the human condition. That’s why when they announced their return to making music back in 2017, many were delighted to have the now three-piece back.
While last year’s self-titled LP was perhaps an underwhelming and slightly rushed first effort back in the game, ‘Mother Nature’ is the real resurrection of the band and, arguably, also the best release they’ve put their name to.
Again, there’s something true and real-worldly that resonates on ‘Mother Nature’. Frontman AJ Perdomo continues his strong ability to convey stories through his lyricism, matched with powerful, gravely vocal performances. Take, for example, the voice-message check-in call intro ‘Prologue’ which kick starts the cathartic ‘Blind Ambition’, a track that feels summative of the band’s sonic identity: confessional lyrics, subtle guitar melodies, airy chord progressions, and loose, lucid beats.
While this is clearly The Dangerous Summer back to their best, there’s also notable willingness to make the record feel inventive and explorative, while never once betraying the clear-cut sound the band have carefully crafted over the years.
‘Bring Me Back To Life’ is shaped delicately, as slow, brewing clean guitars collide with a gentle lead synth; ‘Way Down’ allows Perdomo to let his hair down, semi-screaming the chorus of “’cause when I fall, I wanna fall way down / And when I drown, I wanna drown to death”, while ‘Starting Over / Slow Down’ sees two individual songs that refused to work in isolation when recording combine as one to become one of the best tracks on the record.
It’s not even like The Dangerous Summer had to try anything slightly new at all, their signature style is a success in its own right, as ‘Virginia’, ‘Blind Ambition’, ‘Violent Red’, and the album’s title-track show here.
That said, there are no dramatic shifts here – it’s the little details: the click-track beat to ‘It Is Real’, the audible growth and important-feeling that comes with ‘Where Were You When The Sky Opened Up’; the unexpected, The 1975-like auto-tuned ballad of ‘Better Light’. Sure, some of these tracks may feel totally necessary, but they’re a sign of a band pushing themselves artistically.
‘Mother Nature’ should be heralded as the band’s apex, a record that signifies both where they’ve been, and where they’re going. The Dangerous Summer haven’t just matured here, they’ve hit an almighty creative peak.
Writer for DEAD PRESS! | Literature undergrad with a love for all things punk | Often found sipping on coffee or craft beer, whilst attempting to write some words.