Everyone has a favorite band, or at least they should. My favorite is Dangers out of Los Angeles. Ever heard of them? Shamefully few people have. Having spent the summer in DC I spent countless nights at DIY venues listening to great DC bands that have a lot recognition in scene today, but when people back east asked me who my favorite group was and I said, “Dangers,” I was often left with a blank stare. This to me is tragic. Although LA has all its celebrity idolatry, spray tanned legs, endless rows of bumpers fuming smog, Dangers is a real Los Angeles angel.
Led by Al Brown on vocals the band has had a lot members come and go over the years but the current line up features Justin on guitar, Tim on bass, and Anthony on drums. The band is signed with Vitriol Records, run by Justin, and Secret Voice Records run by Jeremy Bolm of Touché Amore. The group has released one demo, two EP’s, and two LP’s. Their catalog has evolved over time, at no surprise, the group is definitely not one for complacency. Blah blah, most of this stuff you can discover for yourself on their new website, they seemed to have abandoned their WordPress but I still recommend checking that out too. Check it at: http://www.wearedangers.com
We’ve covered the basics so now is time to go full fanboy. Simply put Al Brown is one of my heroes, falling in third behind my mother and Aldous Huxley. Al grew up in LA, and was discovered the punk scene after hearing Nirvana as a youngster. He then got a hold of Green Day, Bad Religion, Black Flag, Descendants, and Minor Threat. Minor Threat is undoubtedly a huge influence in Al’s early lyrics, as they have been to so many bands. Al was a presence to be remembered in the LA punk scene, as Jeremy Bolm recalled on his Secret Voice Podcast, Al was an intimidator with a tough guy attitude, however this tough guy was no meat head. After high school Al went on to attend Princeton where he finished his undergrad with a bachelor’s in English. From there he went on to attend Columbia University where he completed at masters in Creative Writing and acted as editor for the Columbia Journal. After finishing his masters Al returned to Los Angeles to attend USC, where he completed his PhD in Creative Writing and Literature. Al is currently a professor at USC which has, to my dissatisfaction, put Dangers on the slow track.
Al is an academic, a thinking animal. His provocation for his fans to be thoughtful is reason enough to listen to their music. We don’t need more people who act according to a book, for the possibilities of the human brain abound, and it is up to all of us to push this world into a brighter future. Cliché as that statement is one cannot deny the truth. Dangers’ entire catalog features calls to arms, since we are all armed with minds, but their song “We Have More Sense Than Lies” should be the national anthem for punk if there ever was one. Contrary to what I said about a call to arms the song goes, “… And this is not a call to arms. Just a hope that we might try. To use our heads and open eyes. We have more sense than lies. We have more sense than lies. And nothing changes if we don’t change ourselves.” Such a simple message but still something I am always having to remind myself of.
I don’t know if it is appropriate to review your own article but this piece is not my best work even though I wish it was. It is hard to make people see things the way you do. I cherish Dangers the way a mother would her newborn child, maybe an extreme metaphor, but what do I know? I don’t have children. Similarly to a mother I think my child is better than the rest, and I just want others to see that too. So go forth and check out Dangers, they might change your life and they more than likely won’t… I guess I’m finding solace in something Al once said, “We’d rather change the lives of six kids than be background music to the lives of six thousand.” I am thankful to be one of those six.
Whoops, I almost forgot, Dangers third LP will be coming out at some time in 2016 so be on the lookout.
by DJ Ricky Sueños (Anthony Parenzin)