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Danger Radio – Punch Your Lights Out
Punch Your Lights Out - Photo Finish Records
Disco’s dead. Or that’s what I thought anyway, I guess the guys in Danger Radio didn’t get the memo though because on their new EP, Punch Your Lights Out, the sextet from Washington are trying to revive it. Maybe not a full out disco revival, but close to it anyway.
Punch Your Lights Out brings out the dance pop in full force. The disco vibe is heavily pushed in songs like Party Foul and the title track while the other songs tone it back a bit and instead focus on extremely polished pop ala Audition or Cobra Starships. It’s as if they’re trying to rework the HelloGoodbye model but are taking it way too serious and ends up missing the mark by quite a bit. There are times when the vocalist leans in on a Bryce Avery style of delivery but just like the HelloGoodbye mimicry, they too fall short in comparison and instead land alongside a forgettable; although capable; uber-polished pop delivery. Sparkle Baby Shine merges the Rocket Summer influence with a slight Panic At The Disco beat that is heavier on the moog synthesizer and keys. Sadly, Danger Radio are even able to make the pop-emo of Panic sound raw and energetic in comparison.
Some people will argue that I’m crazy, that I don’t know what I’m talking about. They’ll praise the band for their dance pop inventiveness, they’re slick use of programming and heavy bass line in Slow. For some, it’ll be the perfect mix to get them dancing and shaking their booty. In some ways, they’re right. The thick beat will get someone’s foot tapping instinctively, but the song still sits in the background and never is able to fully captivate the listener. It’s far too polished and produced and suffers from a sever lack of punch which limits its enjoyableness. Essentially, Danger Radio is a less memorable All Time Low with a higher pitched set of vocals that has them on a track set to be the next Higher.
In a way, the band themselves say it best in the aforementioned Slow: I have plenty of words I could spit out in tunes. You’d enjoy them all equally, none of them speak out. It’s a rather accurate description of the EP: there’s some talent in there, they’re moderately catchy and mind numbingly simple to listen to, but all the songs fall into the background instantly and never truly “speak out.”