Now I’ll be honest…I judged a book (Or CD sleeve in this case) by its cover and it’s safe to say I was a bit…wrong. With the classic ‘Parental Advisory’ logo, the misty, back alley at night background and perception of gang-mentality I went in to this expecting something along the lines of like, the alternative hard-rock stylistics of EIGHTEEN VISIONS or ATREYU and maybe you could say I was expecting too much? The album opens up promisingly with some fuzzy guitar and a gradually building opening verse, before it erupts into this genuinely catchy, soaring melodic chorus. It’s got a great pop-hook and an infectious groove and though while the track does end on a more breakdown-inspired instrumental segment, this is far more up-beat and up-tempo than I was expecting, but it’s a decent start nevertheless.
This overall tone is continued on tracks like “Fever” which again is an incredibly light-hearted affair which utilises a strong indie-pop feel; more melodic guitar tones and big on chorus, in ways akin to the likes of YOU ME AT SIX in delivery, while “One” easily reflects the bands affection for artists such as KINGS OF LEON, it’s so easy to imagine this played in the same set as “Sex On Fire”, the influence is quite clear…which I guess can also be said for “Summer” too. Closing track “Y.D.W.I.W.M.” (Which stands for ‘You Don’t Want It With Me’…I was relieved to not have to play some sort of Mock The Week type guess the headline game with that let me tell you) does utilise more of that fuzzy, bass-heavy guitar tone, almost grungy and more resembling of artists such as DRENGE which makes for a grittier listen, but this is generally as heavy as it gets.
Several of the tracks opt for a considerably lighter feel such as the FOALS inspired “Babe, Can I Call?” which is a sickly sweet love song, “Lover” is a morose anti-ballad that’s both powerful and bold while trying to tug on the heart strings, while “Mother”, arguably the weakest track on the record plods along, ending on a repetitive note, really making you hope he was put up for adoption just to end YOUR suffering. Ultimately while there are some decent pop-rock cuts on “Dare” with a fair share of infectious melodies and enjoyable choruses, I really was expecting something with a bit more substance….ideally the hunna gunna’ wunna’ dare to show more fighting spirit next time around as, though while I’m not expecting a sudden switch to anything remotely metal, their songs really could do with a bit more attitude.