Album Review: Dan Andriano and the Emergency Room – “Hurricane Season”

Alkaline Trio is one of small handful of punk bands that my wife and I both enjoy. She usually leans more towards the pop punk stuff and I like the street punk sound but somehow Alkaline Trio has found fans in both of us. While we both may love the overall sound of Alkaline Trio, we differ on which singer we like better. Her favorites tracks are mostly sung by Matt Skiba, where my top 5 are Dan Andriano all the way. (They are Blue Carolina, Maybe I’ll Catch Fire, I’m Dying Tomorrow, Take Lots With Alcohol and You’ve Got So Far To Go, in case you were wondering.) So when I heard about the upcoming ‘Dan Andriano in the Emergency Room‘ album, I got pretty excited and pre-ordered the disc from Asian Man Records. It arrived at my house last week, about two and a half weeks before it’s actual release date (8/9)…way to go Asian Man! I’ve listened to the disc, entitled “Hurricane Season,” a bunch of times since it showed up in my mailbox and I’m pretty thrilled with it.

“Hurricane Season” is, for the most part an acoustic album (there are a few electric guitar based songs; more on those later) filled with Dan’s signature vocals and somewhat depressing lyrics. Dan sings about messing everything up (“Hurricane Season”), being alone (“It’s Gonna Rain All Day”), and dying (“The Last Day We Ever Close Our Eyes”). Simply put, this is not a happy album. It’s pretty slow and at times sad but that doesn’t stop it from being a great album. It’s just not the type of music that you want to listen to all the time. For instance, throwing this disc on while hanging out with your friends and drinking heavily could result in crying, and no really wants that.

Now on to the part of my review where I talk about some of the individual songs.

‘Let Me In’ is the first non-acoustic song on the album. It’s not quite as rockin’ as most Alkaline Trio songs but it’s as punk as you get on this album. The song itself is a short (under three minutes) number about wanting to get back home to a loved one. It’s a pretty good song, not my favorite¬† but one of the better ones.

‘Me And Denver’ is an interesting song. It has a country and western feel to it, especially when Pete and Bryan Groleau come in to add harmony vocals to the chorus. This is also the only song that features any vocals that weren’t performed by Dan.

‘Say Say Say’ is another country-ish song and also my favorite on the album. When I first heard this song, I pictured a guy sitting beside a roaring campfire, belting this one out. Lyrically, it seems to be about finding the person that you’ve spent your whole life searching for.

‘On Monday’ is my second favorite on this album. This one is another electric guitar track and it’s more on the upbeat side of life, at least musically. Lyrically, it’s sorta like an apology for missing a date with someone (on Monday). Dan’s voice sounds like it’s on the verge of cracking several times during this track, which is great.

‘Hurricane Season’ is everything that I expected it to be, and that is great. Any fan of Dan’s work with Alkaline Trio should enjoy this record. Just remember, this is probably not a record to throw on when you need some cheering up.

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