I've gotten mixed responses to this album from mates of mine. I guess this was a good thing as I wasn't anticipating much from this album when I first put it on.
Like their previous album, Anger, it starts in a way most hardcore albums don't: at a slow, mid-tempo pace. Yes, the opening track, "Stay-At-Home Mom" is not intense or fast but rather follows a lone guitar-and-vocals-only intro before developing into an almost breakbeat-like groove. The words to this song also stood out to me, opening with the line, "Why didn't you kill yourself today?" The words seem to ask the question to the single, stay-at-home mothers, "What is your point of living?" At first these words offended me because of my upbringing by a single mother, but I am now almost certain it is tongue-in-cheek humour that was written to make you feel a little uneasy.
The album's next track, "I'll Clap When I'm Impressed" gets the fast side of this album started and I assume gives many listeners what they were hoping for from the first track: heavy, fast and angry, yet quite melodic in many ways. It's a definite change from anything off their last album.
"Saved by the Buoyancy of Citrus" is basically the definition of hardcore punk: short, simple and fast with galloping drums, clocking in at just 47 seconds. And "Check, Please" doesn't slow down the mood, getting straight into things with heavy palm-muting and blistering drum rolls before breaking into a melodic, Converge-esque breakdown, it's a hint of all that is to come with the rest of the album.
I've heard "Opposable" on local punk radio shows a bit lately and it definitely follows in the footsteps of the opening track: mid-tempo and a bass/vocals-only intro before breaking into a surprisingly dance-able beat. Ending with the line, "There's a reason you want to pry open the cage, see, you should be there too!" is likely left to be individually interpreted. It is a highlight, that's for sure!
"Under the Affluence" is the best song on the album in my opinion. It begins with an awesome, nut-busting drum intro that is followed by some of the most interesting timing structures and chord progressions in any hardcore song I've heard.
An interesting interlude to the album is the short and jazzy "(Messy, Isn't It?)" instrumental, which could have easily sounded out of place but somehow fits perfectly between "Goliath" and "Bottom of the 9th Ward."
The second-to-last track, "(Love Poem)", also a strange sorta interlude, is just different voices reiterating the same words for 49 seconds: "It's so nice to wake up in the morning, all alone, and not have to tell somebody you love them when you don't love them anymore."
Ending with "The El Segundo Blue Butterfly Habitat Preserve," another slower track, I was left wanting this album to never end.
As a huge fan of hardcore punk and most of the other genres that have become associated with that title, even I can admit that a hell of a lot of "hardcore" bands nowadays are not very groundbreaking and pretty much regurgitate songs by the old-school pioneers. I think that's why there was a lovely feeling of excitement when I first heard Dangers. To me, they stood out from the rest of today's scene. They weren't trying to be the fastest band or the heaviest band or the toughest band--they were just playing good ol' punk rock music and their lyrics are above so many others.
A great album, all in all.