How Dare You - Comfort Road (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

How Dare You

Comfort Road (2008)

Fail Safe

Is it just me, or does Orlando suddenly have a thriving punk scene? I live an hour away, so while my finger isn't firmly on the pulse, it sure seems that way. Sure, New Mexican Disaster Squad was around forever, but with members of those bands forming Gatorface and Virgins, and other bands like Monikers and No Harm Done kicking around, the place where seemingly everyone is from somewhere else is beginning to make a lot of noise in the three-chord world. How Dare You look to add to that mystique with their debut Comfort Road, and despite the unbearable humidity, eyesore strip malls and unfortunately clueless tourists, they do so admirably.

Standout moments abound on Comfort Road, and the guys in How Dare You do a nice job of incorporating a lot of different influences into their sound while maintaining cohesiveness throughout. If you're into pigeonholing, though, I'd say these guys play a brand of melodic, mid-tempo punk rock.

Even though How Dare You are based a couple hours south, there's plenty of Gainesville in their sound. Whether it's the the tight rhythm section and raw vocals of "Scout's Honor," the huge anthemic nature of "Beacon St.," or the slightly rawer "Leaving Now OK...," it's apparent that Hot Water Music is a large influence. It's nothing we haven't heard before, but it's solid enough.

That's not to say Comfort Road is a one-trick pony; far from it. The solid riffs and dynamic drumming give "Cases and Carriers" a real melodic hardcore feel, and "The Bench" sees How Dare You crafting some of the bounciest post-hardcore I've heard in quite a while -- a strange phrase, I know, but it's true. And if you like huge, crunchy choruses, you'll find them here in spades; "Eat at Charlie's," "Hecker" and "My Last Stop on the T" all fit the bill.

If there's one minor complaint I can find with Comfort Road, it'd be the length of some of the songs. About half of the ten tracks here contain elongated outros that cause a handful of them to run past the four-minute mark without serving much of a purpose. Fortunately, the songs up to that point are so good it does little to stunt this record's momentum. How Dare You are definitely a band on the rise, and this record only solidifies their case.