This has been such a huge year for the recording industry. Aesthetically, you couldn’t really ask for a more interesting time to be alive in history. Artists around the world are advancing the audiological palate beyond what any of us could have ever dreamed possible, and not only are we hearing sounds and styles that are literally being conceived in real time, we’re getting a glimpse into what the future of pop music is going to sound and look like. California’s own Dangermaker have been at the epicenter of the new music revolution, and their second album Run is a flashpoint in what is becoming the apex of the modern American underground.
Jam-packed with twelve songs that spellbind listeners in a litany of sonic wonderment, funky beats and overwhelming guitar chaos (the likes of which even noise rockers will be impressed by), Run is the penultimate album of 2010s, and in my opinion there is no need to argue who the biggest and most important band of the next decade in rock music is going to be. It’s Dangermaker, and this is their declaration of war upon the pop establishment.
In “I Won’t Let You Down,” Dangermaker dispatch a series of melodic mini-explosions that grip us with their thick, suffocating hooks and draw our attention to the unbelievably tight harmony between the four players that make up the band. Rock music is all about the chemistry that exists between the musicians bold enough to play it, and Dangermaker doesn’t just gel well together, they come together to make a singular sound that is powerful enough to crush mountains and provoke earthquakes at the right volume. “I Won’t Let You Down” is one of the poppier tracks on Run, but it’s also one of the more diversely appointed. Its sway is more akin to R&B than it is to traditional rock, and its expanding bassline recalls the more left-field transmissions of the Velvet Underground’s early experiments. You could call Run a dance record to a certain degree, but its avant-garde leanings keep it from being a straight up club album.
Dangermaker strike me as the kind of band that I would really have to see live to fully appreciate, and Run is indeed an album that sports a lot of songs that I would be thrilled to hear translated on stage. “In Vain,” “Fantasy,” “Never Go Back,” “Everything Will Change” and “Isolation” alone could make for a pretty intense set list, but to hear this complete collection of songs would be a performance for the ages. I’ll probably get the chance to catch them once they hit the road in support of Run, and my gut tells me that their next tour, like this album, is going to be their best so far. Dangermaker has made a lot of progress since first coming onto the scene in 2009, and it’s clear to me that they no longer belong playing as a lower-bill act. Their sound is ready for the big leagues, and it’s time for them to take their rightful place atop their contemporaries once and for all.
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-review by Jodi Marxbury