Dexter Danger, Hellafornia

Dexter Danger, Hellafornia

Dexter Danger is a four-piece band from California that plays emo-ish punk rock. The band is tight, executing tempo changes and other obstacles well. Melodically, their specialty seems to be the anthem, but even with that, they get mixed results.

Their melodies are mostly okay, but not great. The lyrics try to be thoughtful and are better on average than the melodies, but not even poetry can reclaim a boring melody. The band is tight, but they don’t really come up with any interesting riffs — worse, some of the riffs they come up with are pretty annoying (they’re the worst at the endings of songs [which should not imply that they’re good at intros and breakdowns!]). It’s a bad sign when the most interesting parts of a punk record are the violin parts…

“The Rise and Fall of Erica Vallejo” is probably the best song on the record. They must have thought of it that way, too, cause it gets the big single treatment — double-tracked vocals, harmonies, the tasteful guitar sound, everything all very tastefully done. They even included the tastefully wanky metal guitar solo in the middle. And it’s probably the best song here, but sadly, even it’s not all that great.

The album doesn’t have many really bad songs, mind you, although “See You in Hell” makes up for that nearly all by itself. The call-and-response lead vocals in alternating right and left channels gets old quick, and makes what would have been a forgettable melody into something far more insidious. Then the chorus kicks in, promising relief, but unfortunately, there’s none to be had; the chorus melody just wanders around, rather than going somewhere interesting. And the breakdown, rather than redeeming the song, simply delivers more of the same. Dexter Danger are truly masters of the mediocre.

(Orange Peal Records -- P.O. Box 15207, Fremont, CA. 94539; http://www.orangepeal.com/; Dexter Danger -- http://www.dexterdanger.com/)
BUY ME: Amazon

Review by . Review posted Saturday, October 1st, 2005. Filed under Reviews.

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