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Album Review: The Bend In The Break by Dangers

LA hardcore punks Dangers release their third album The Bend In The Break via Topshelf Records on 14th October. DIY touring since 2005 and self-releasing two critically-acclaimed LPs and two EPs on their own Vitriol Records, this record feels like 11 years of growth, frustration and anger condensed into 37 minutes.

Dangers manage to push hardcore to its limits – the standard fast pace and aggression is complemented by interesting time structures and a brutal honesty. As such you’ll find some of 2016’s finest hardcore tracks on The Bend In The Break, unfortunately not all 13 track come in at the same high standard.

Image result for dangers band

Within the first four tracks you’ll understand how much of a mixed bag this record is. It goes from the sublime to the mediocre and back again. ‘Darkest Arts’ takes the hardcore template and bends and moulds it to fit the band – the latent aggression feeds off the jagged and duelling guitars, while title track ‘The Bend in the Break’ is a throbbing and captivating run of hardcore. Compare that to the standard affair of openers ‘Human Noise’ and ‘Those Sad Plebes Down Below’ and you feel conflicted. Neither are any special.

‘Kiss With Spit’ feels like the band playing homage to Territorial Pissings, which you feel must be below the band by this stage in their careers. ‘Loose Cigarettes’ and ‘The Great American Songbook’ are, however, great songs where you feel the band are trying to do something different and push their limits. The latter is particularly impressive. The garage punk of ‘Softer Science’ threatens to impress but seems to fall slightly short before ‘It’s The Devil I Love’ and ‘The Straight World’ both deliver a lot of hardcore punk and not much else. It’s at these moments where Dangers seeming fall into a hardcore trench that you fail to be impressed. Admittedly it’s just a little too run of the mill.

‘..In Sharp Decline’ is a short snippet of the band coming out of the safety of their hardcore sound and creating an atmospheric interlude, it’s telling that it manages to capture the attention more than the majority of the rest of the album. ‘To Finn, With Our Regrets’ returns to hardcore somewhat reluctantly, pushing the song towards a more conventional punk sound. When this album shines, it shines bright just a shame the majority is a tad dull.

AD Rating 5.5/10

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