Dan Andrianoin the Emergency Room - Hurricane Season
Record Label: Asian Man Records
Release Date: August 9, 2011
Dan Andriano is quite literally a superhero. While he may not have flashy powers like super speed or flight, his innate ability to never spread himself thin, no matter how heavy his workload may be, is nothing short of miraculous. Best known for his work as the more soulful and romantic half of Alkaline Trio, Andriano has also has his hand in various other projects, solo and otherwise. These ventures have run the gamut genre-wise, from the pop influenced Tuesday to the Chicago punk rock supergroup The Falcon, but each and every one has carried his distinct brand of vocal delivery and musical composition. With a voice that's both husky and smooth, Andriano is the musician's musician, talented and yet hard-working enough to continually evolve his craft.
Now, under the moniker Dan Andriano in the Emergency Room, he's taken to creating an album with very little input from outside sources. His first solo venture, a split with former Smoking Popes and Alkaline Trio drummer Mike Felumlee, featured three tracks full to the brim with character and yet obviously influenced by his own work with Alkaline Trio. Apart from some light piano work and backing vocals, each and every instrument of his debut album Hurricane Season was laid down by Andriano himself. While this is impressive in its own right, the way in which each instrument interacts with the others is cohesive in a way many full bands can't match.
Hurricane Season opens gently with “It's Gonna Rain All Day,” its soft piano melodies and acoustic guitar work meshing to form a soft framework. Simple and moody, the song is a nostalgic look back on choices that, good or bad, have led each of us to our present situations. Andriano is introduced as a reserved bystander, but begins to steal the spotlight and ramp up the emotion as the track continues on through multiple choruses and a heartfelt bridge. “Hurricane Season” continues with these qualities, but offers a better showing from Andriano vocally. At its core, the title track details the shortcomings Andriano sees in himself, comparing his personality to that of the highly destructive storms. The backing compositions are uplifting, but the lyrics bring them down to earth with Andriano's perfect use of imagery.
Hurricane Season, without a doubt, opens strong. Fortunately, it never really lets up. “Let Me In” is a pounding anthem about life on the road, carried by a particularly old-school guitar riff that lends an air of excitement amidst slower, more modern tracks. “On Monday” is carried by another golden guitar melody and organ accompaniment. The two complement each other in a special way, laying the foundation for Andriano's traditionally sentimental vocals. He details a missed appointment with his family, a torturous ordeal only exacerbated by his loneliness on tour. Both his lead and backing vocals channel his distressed emotions, and portray a man both disappointed in himself yet still hopeful in what lies ahead.
But Hurricane Season truly hits its stride with the track “Me and Denver.” Despite being the shortest track the album has to offer, it's the clearest indicator of Andriano's ever-deepening talents. The lyrics and backing instrumentation never miss a beat, and the vocals in particular are magnificently paced. Andriano's rhythmic use of language and delivery are a thing of beauty, a quality amplified exponentially by the guest vocals of Pete and Bryan Groleau. Andriano, both with this track and Hurricane Season as a whole, showcases his best quality: the ability to be both pragmatic and completely engrossing at the same time.
And that's the perfect way to describe what Andriano brings to the table. What he lacks in flash he makes up for with his indomitable personality and outstanding musicianship. Hurricane Season is, overall, incredibly emotional. Yet the reserved way in which these emotions are portrayed only makes them more powerful. It's these quietly fantastic moments that make Hurricane Season a special look at a musician fully in control of each aspect of his craft, with enough deft tenacity to get the job done.
i gotta check this out like....yesterday...i love alk3 especially danny..i thought it was odd how you concluded your review with a sentence that said " And that's the perfect way to describe what Andriano brings to the table."....thankks!
Great review.This album is so great. Me and Denver is probably my personal favorite as well. There are a couple others that stand out every time I listen as well, but I can't remember what they are. I think I really dig Hollow Sounds and Let Me In, though.
I saw him in Gainesville and it was great. I meant to ask him what the story was behind the use of some of the same lyrics on "From this oil can" and his one new song on the Trio acoustic CD, but I forgot.
I had the distinct privilege of listening to Dan play this album live along with Dave Hause at the Crowbar in Ybor City, Florida a couple of weeks ago. It was a small venue mirrored by a full-blown rap/hip-hop party, but the atmosphere that night was electric. Ian's review hits the nail on the head--Dan's vocal style has not only gotten smoother, but the richness of his lyrics as well. Dan Andriano is truly a musician that cannot be fully captured by mp3, vinyl, or cd. See.Them.Live. Sell your kids, your grandma, and your Prius, and get down to the nearest show. You will not regret it.