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RECORD REVIEW: Danger Incorporated

'Danger Reality' falls prey to its own cool cachet

Music Danger8 1 17
Photo credit: Courtesy Awful Records
DANGER REALITY

Since 2015, Danger Incorporated has experienced a meteoric rise to fame with Atlanta’s dialed-in teens and 20-something audience. In just two years, the group’s members, Louie Duffelbags and Boothlord, have signed with indie rap powerhouse Awful Records, toured across the U.S. and Europe, and released a handful of albums and singles. Their latest full-length, Danger Reality, garnered praise seemingly overnight, but the album delivers a disappointing break from the balance of Soundcloud pop-rap they’ve fostered so far. The album features no rap verses, minimal instrumentals, simple lyrics, and dissonant vocals. Unlike previous offerings, which have remained consistently smooth, Danger Reality’s catchier numbers such as “$$$/xoxo,” “Turn Around,” and “Superstars,” hit a sweet spot between electronic music and modern indie hip-hop production. The first single, “Casting Spells,” combines a minimal trap beat over chiming synths and elementary lyrics, such as “Walking fast / Blowing smoke / ATL / Making money moves.” This, along with other songs such as “IRL” and “Let It Out,” are juvenile regressions from the inventive promises of 2016’s Are You Afraid of the Danger Boys? and 2017’s Birds Fly By Night.

The age of SoundCloud rap and internet celebrity has given rise to a tendency to place a higher cultural premium on the cool-factor — social clout — over steady musical talent that remains aware of modern trends while still yielding a new and progressive batch of songs. The Danger Boys fall prey to their own cool cachet, and Danger Reality, misses the mark. ★★☆☆☆

★★★★★ This album will change your life | ★★★★☆ A truly great album | ★★★☆☆ A solid effort, worth a listen | ★★☆☆☆ No thanks | ★☆☆☆☆ Don't bother

 



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A frantic interplay of quintessential hardcore and shadowy blues, the aptly titled 2018 Demo augurs considerable promise for Atlanta hardcore’s newest kids on the block, Playytime. Reconciling the beloved aspects of the genre with more nefarious ones, this demo displays a layer of sincere, exciting exploration not often seen in the early work of any new hardcore band. The hardest-hitting track, “Dark Circles,” sidesteps the genre’s traditional Reagan-era political disillusionment in favor of emphasizing the discrimination and tokenization encountered by black men in predominantly white spaces (and yes, standard hardcore shows are not exempt). With seething lines such as, “I was just a stepping stone / You fetishized my every bone” and “I’m not your fucking black friend” heaved over a furious chugging of power chords, the band employs frustration and aggression in a poignant and relevant way. While the band remains steeped in the hardcore scene, it’s evident their tastes and musical inclinations lie far beyond the genre. “Trouble’’ offers classic punk instrumentals and caustic vocals, backed ever so subtly by shoegaze melodies and an effeminate voice. The last track, “Fool,” occupies a hazy realm of post-punk and jazz fusion, with cascading skeletal electric guitar, understated bass, subdued drums, and abstract gothic vocals. Both are short and sweet departures from the average two minutes of straight-up hardcore. ★★★☆☆

With Shred Flinstone, Swamp, Burned Spinach, and Cowprint. The Closet. 8 p.m. Mon. Nov. 12.

With Super Unison, Juna, and Mercy. $7. 8:30 p.m. Wed., Nov. 14. The Bakery. 825 Warner St. www.thebakeryatlanta.com.


 

★★★★★ This will change your life | ★★★★☆ A truly great release | ★★★☆☆ A solid effort. Worth a listen | ★★☆☆☆ Good but inconsistent | ★☆☆☆☆ Don’t bother"
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A frantic interplay of quintessential hardcore and shadowy blues, the aptly titled 2018 Demo augurs considerable promise for Atlanta hardcore’s newest kids on the block, Playytime. Reconciling the beloved aspects of the genre with more nefarious ones, this demo displays a layer of sincere, exciting exploration not often seen in the early work of any new hardcore band. The hardest-hitting track, “Dark Circles,” sidesteps the genre’s traditional Reagan-era political disillusionment in favor of emphasizing the discrimination and tokenization encountered by black men in predominantly white spaces (and yes, standard hardcore shows are not exempt). With seething lines such as, “I was just a stepping stone / You fetishized my every bone” and “I’m not your fucking black friend” heaved over a furious chugging of power chords, the band employs frustration and aggression in a poignant and relevant way. While the band remains steeped in the hardcore scene, it’s evident their tastes and musical inclinations lie far beyond the genre. “Trouble’’ offers classic punk instrumentals and caustic vocals, backed ever so subtly by shoegaze melodies and an effeminate voice. The last track, “Fool,” occupies a hazy realm of post-punk and jazz fusion, with cascading skeletal electric guitar, understated bass, subdued drums, and abstract gothic vocals. Both are short and sweet departures from the average two minutes of straight-up hardcore. ★★★☆☆

With Shred Flinstone, Swamp, Burned Spinach, and Cowprint. The Closet. 8 p.m. Mon. Nov. 12.

With Super Unison, Juna, and Mercy. $7. 8:30 p.m. Wed., Nov. 14. The Bakery. 825 Warner St. www.thebakeryatlanta.com.


 

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Tuesday October 30, 2018 12:55 pm EDT
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