Maryland rockers The Dangerous Summer‘s new record Coming Home (Rude Records) starts with the evocative title track – with its hypnotic piano riff and prominent Pixies influence. This is TDS’ sixth album, and it is a rockier affair than its three-year-old predecessor, Mother Nature.
It is a diverse mix of emo, pop-punk, and alternative rock with heartfelt, almost confessional lyrics. ‘Sideways’ is an emotional rocker with pent-up lyrics and Coldplay-like arena ambitions that does not have much-staying power. Alas, this is a theme of the whole album, which, after a promising start, devolves into atmospheric but bland emo. It is a homogenous record, whose well-crafted atmosphere drags things down by the end – it needs some light and moments of brevity.
The odd bit perks things up, like the jangly, U2 guitars in ‘Dimensional Love’ or the soft, ethereal pop of ‘Gold Star’ as well as the Pixies-esque relaxed beat and fuzzy guitars of ‘Someday’. Alas these are fleeting, and lost in the sombre and emotionally heavy mire. It is an earnest and genuine outpouring, but the record is in a state of imbalance as a result. ‘Polarity’, a heart-felt ballad towards the album’s end, sums it up – it has good intentions but is overdone, and by that point you have switched off.
Coming Home is an emotionally charged serving of alternative rock, whose sombre atmosphere and humdrum melodies drag it down.
5 / 10