Published Oct 17, 2016For all of their driving ambition and DIY relentlessness, hardcore punk monsters Dangers have put out precious few full-length records; The Bend in the Break is only their third in 11 years. But there's a lot to be said for quality over quantity, because these 37 minutes are blistering, frustrated and drenched in violent pleasure.
It's not all wild brutality, though; rather, it's the shockingly well-composed viciousness, which gets downright artful here and there, that makes this record something special. The Bend in the Break is thoughtful enough to be cruel, meaning all of the pain that it inflicts is unquestionably deliberate. There's a shockingly abrasive kind of spite that infuses "Those Sad Plebes Down Below," a kind of acidic, bristling contempt, while "Darkest Arts" has a clotted, chugging defiance and disaffectedness that's just waiting to turn on you. "Kiss With Spit" circles the listener like a prizefighter, willing to take a few punches to lure you in for a devastating counter.
The record's greatest fault is that it's a little uneven; the excellent tracks are such standouts that the few that are merely good seem lacking, but when taken as a whole, it's hard to fault what's here. About as forgiving as a battering ram, or maybe more accurately the ever-lowering blade in "The Pit and the Pendulum," The Bend in the Break is defined both by a crushing sense of inevitability and a refusal to accept that inexorable destruction without a hell of a fight. From all the disparate, evil angles that this record confronts mortality, it encourages the listener to fight no matter what. (Top Shelf)