Album Review : Dangerous Curves – Summertime Highs

Review by Peter Coates –

DANGEROUS CURVES – Summertime Highs 
Release Date – July 2021 

Inspired by the likes of their childhood heroes Bon Jovi, Kiss and Van Halen, Geelong rockers Dangerous Curves formed in 2015 with one only one goal in mind, to bring back the music of the infamous LA scene of the late 80’s…with a modern twist. 

Their 2018 full length debut, So Dirty Right was nominated for ‘Best Heavy Album’ at The Age Music Victoria Awards 2018, and Take My Money was a one-off single released back in 2019 which caused a worldwide stir.

In the new album, we get eleven brand new tracks, which the band describe as: “The way that these songs have really come together, we think we’ve struck a good collection of moods for any occasion, which to us as a band feels essential when listening to an album from beginning to end. Don’t get us wrong…’s still a feel good rock ‘n’ roll album, but with a slice for everyone.”

The record kicks off with the lush melodies and kicking groove of In Those Eyes, with the rolling bass line and hard-edged riff, before the huge harmonies pile in for the chorus.  Think Electric Boys brought up to the present day!  Kym Britten has a rough edge to the voice which screams 1980’s LA rock – and fits the music like a glove.  The guitars open up My Oh My, and there is an urgency in the vocals which drags the listener in, with some fantastic backing vocals, and an epic little riff in the pre-chorus which leads in to yet another sensational chorus.  Cammy Paul gives us a ripper of a solo here, and two songs in you are either right in the DC groove or this is probably not one for you!

If you still love listening to Winger, Ratt, Tesla, Dio, Skid Row and the like – but also get off on some of the trashier Scandi-rock of the Hellacopters or Gemini 5, then this band may well get you going!  This is not genre-bending music, and we have heard much of it before – neither of which is intended as a criticism – good songs performed really well and with a positive energy throughout!

There is a swagger to the riff and vocals of I Like It which continues the party-rock vibe, with solid bass and drums from Will and Luke, more sizzling guitar licks from Cammy, and Kym wailing over the top

The new single with cracking video is Good And The Bad, and this encapsulates everything that DC stand for – good times, up-beat tempo, a Panama-like feel to the riff, and a carefree delivery on the vocals, with the catchiest chorus this side of an early Bon Jovi album!  Yes there are echoes of other songs all the way, but this really works, and should be heard in stadiums all over!

The title track is a real change of mood and feel – a semi-ballad that floats along with a jangly guitar melody, some DLR style vocals, and lyrics that lay out the freedom and fun of Summertime Highs!   Fallen Off is part Rush guitars, part Blackberry Smoke melodies in a country-rock ballad that builds up into a mid-section where Cammy’s guitar explodes into an epic solo before the heavier rendition of the pre and choruses over the band having cranked up the overdrive pedals, and then drop back into the outro.

There is the ubiquitous telephone-call intro to Pieces Of Your Love that drives into a powerhouse riff and overlaid guitar licks which may be wonderfully derivative, but who cares – this is a belter of a feel-good party rock record.  The guitars are loud, the rhythm section powers it along, and Kym provides the perfect voice.  There is no respite with Living For The Now which picks up the pace and volume with another crushing riff, pounding tom-toms, and a punchy vocal line that snarls its way to the chorus, with some soaring backing harmonies that adds to the impact.

Changing Lanes may be the most complex track on the album, with a crisp, punchy backbeat, a few different riffs and intricate guitar licks, and a really catchy hookline in the chorus – and multiple sections that provide variety without detracting from the basic theme of the track.  There is a similar feel to Nightmare Games which has an even warmer melody and classic chorus, and the solo of the album from Cammy!   There is way more to love in Foolish Appetite, and it has taken me this long to start thinking about how the band can deliver such a sound live, with only one guitarist!  The guitar work really stands out throughout the record, with a particularly dirty sound for the riffs in many places, and some really high-quality guitar-breaks, and this impresses a bit more each time I hit repeat on the iPod!

I think my review copy missed SJS so I only had the 11 tracks to review – with the title track being the outlier, but still within the overall feel of the album!  This is a really creditable effort from the band – and shows their ability to deliver a bunch of quality melodic hard rock songs, steeped in the slightly glam / trash rock roots of the 1980’s LA scene, but with overtones of more modern hard rock such as Eclipse or H.E.A.T – but which you can imagine being played right now in big arenas under monster lighting rigs!  

Dangerous Curves will launch the album along with Ablaze and Shotgun Mistress on July 16 at The Bendigo Hotel in Melbourne – so while COVID continues to lurk, this will restrict those who want to travel – but will no doubt be a banger of a night in the event that the lockdown is loosened up enough!

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Track Listing:
1. In Those Eyes
2. My Oh My (get what you need)
3. I Like It
4. Good And The Bad
5. Summertime Highs
6. Fallen Off
7. Pieces Of Your Love
8. Living For The Now
9. Changing Lanes 
10. Nightmare Games
11. Foolish Appetite 
12. SJS