Four piece rock band Danger Kids from Dayton, Ohio packs a punch and stands on their own ground with their second full-length album, blacklist_, released late January of 2017.
Their personality immediately shines with the first track, “Kill Everything.” The leadoff all-out attack track does everything right to capture its target listeners, and some may find a home with the sound that bears familiarities with bands such as Hollywood Undead, Underoath, and Linkin Park. For those who are unfamiliar with the band, this song will also introduce a rapper vocalist who is a major part of Dangerkids’ identity. Although the rap parts in this song and throughout the album brings out a lot of attitude, there is room for improvement with the delivery.
The choruses in the songs of blacklist_ are also well written. The vocals performed by Andy Bane and Tyler Smyth are melodic and the lyrics are simple enough for listeners to understand and connect with. “Crawl Your Way Out” and “Nothing Worth Saving” are two of my favourite tracks that stood out to me, and it’s all due to the choruses alone. The backing vocals do just of an efficient job harmonizing as well, such as the chorus in “Glass Water.”
blacklist_ also offers some cinematic-like instrumentals such as the start of “Ghost in the Walls,” the end of “Crawl Your Way Out,” and the eighth track, “Singularity.” These instrumentals help in setting up tracks and offering flawless transitioning between each other.
The instrumental performances are also performed well. Katie Cole offers an excellent performance on the drums, from the fills to the double kicks and everything in between to keep songs driving along. The guitars and bass, performed by Alex Asch and Jake Bonham, don’t miss a step in grinding out gritty power chords and the guitar solos, especially the ones in the second track “blacklist_” and the tenth track “Glass on Water” are pacey and melodic which adds a lot of excitement to their sound.
Along with the rapping verses, the breakdowns in the tracks also add a lot of desired attitude. While “blacklist_” and the ninth track, “Summoner’s Rift” offers two great breakdowns with the energy to allow audiences to let loose and unleash all their anger, I particularly like the one with the fifth track, “Things Could Be Different” because it offers an intense ride with the way it builds up and falls down.
The eleventh and last track “Invincible Summer” is the only track that offers the soft side of the Dangerkids, which is lead by acoustic guitars and heartfelt vocals. More songs like this would have made the album shine brighter, and would allow more opportunities for listeners to warm up with their soft side.
Overall, Dangerkids impresses with the eleven tracks they have to offer with blacklist_. They bring out so much energy and attitude in order to keep their style firm and strongly stand on their ground. Without a doubt, their rock sound should greatly appeal to all die-hard fans of the genre.
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