The Dangerous Summer has always been hard to pinpoint into one genre specifically. In my opinion the band has some of the most loyal fans in the entire music industry, and with every release the band grows immensely. Reach for the Sun and War Paint were two unique creations, which lead me to believe the band’s third full length, Golden Record, was going to be just as unique and beautiful.
It was clear on War Paint that the band had picked up a bit of an indie-rock influence. The first two songs off of Golden Record, “Catholic Girls” and “Sins,” seem to carry that same sound. The only difference with these two songs from any songs on War Paint is that they seem much, much bigger. I think it’s a smart move to open a new album with tracks that sound similar to the band’s last record, and The Dangerous Summer has done just that. However, “Drowning” presents a new, darker sound for the band. To me, this was the first song to say “This is who we are now.” Some may not know, but this is the first record the band has created with its new permanent lineup. Honestly, this is the most natural the band has sounded to me. “Knives” proves that. The song is a bit darker for the band (again), but it’s a nice change of pace.
“Honesty” picks things up again with that uplifting TDS sound that fans are used to. I really enjoyed the vocal patterns in this song; they're super catchy and enjoyable. The ambient guitar riff throughout the track is also extremely enjoyable. “We Will Wait in the Fog” presents another new direction for The Dangerous Summer. The song has more of a simple alt-rock feel to it. “We Will Wait in the Fog” has a huge chorus that I can see being a huge crowd pleaser when played live. “Miles Apart” is probably the best song on Golden Record, and one of the best songs this band has ever written. To me, there’s a lot of new things the band tried on this track. One of the most noticeable things is the background harmonies throughout the bridge and chorus. They add a very spacey/ambient feel to the song. It’s a strange but beautiful thing that these calm harmonies work so well with the belting vocals and soaring riffs of song. “Miles Apart” is one of those longer songs (coming in at just over five minutes) that seems to go by so fast, and it leaves you wanting more. It’s quite a beautiful song.
Track seven, which is titled “Into the Comfort,” has some of the most interesting instrumentals and vocal melodies on the record. The way the instruments play off each other in this song is an attention grabber. “I’m So Pathetic” touches back on the darker sound of Golden Record. This song has some of my favorite drumming on the entire record. By the time I got to this song, I also noticed that the band is doing a lot more with vocal harmonies on this album. Closing Golden Record is “Anchor,” one of the most uplifting songs the band has ever written. You can really feel the emotion in this song. It was a great choice for an album closer. I can even see this song eventually closing the band’s set. You can almost rename “Anchor” to “Never Feel Alone Pt. 2” because it just has that power and emotion that “Never Feel Alone” brought back on Reach for the Sun. One thing is for sure, once the song ended I was ready to put Golden Record on repeat.
In the end, there is still going to be the people who have a special place in their hearts for Reach for the Sun, but there’s no denying that The Dangerous Summer betters themselves as musicians/artists every single release. Golden Record keeps the tradition going, but with more experimentation and maturity than ever before. I cannot wait to hear some of these songs live and see what this record does for the band in the future. War Paint did a lot for the band, but I feel that Golden Record may be the record to finally really put them out there and broaden their fan base. The thing that sets this record apart from The Dangerous Summer’s prior work is that Golden Record feels like a piece of art rather than just a musical creation.