Superdanger: Fight! Fight! Fight!

Superdanger
Fight! Fight! Fight!
Afternoon Records

For anyone who's ever attended a high school football game, the words "Fight! Fight! Fight!" have a certain bratty singsong cadence that's seared into the bleacher section of your brain, that mostly empty space next to the baseball dugout where combined whiffs of Drakkar Noir, leather, Marlboro reds, and Milwaukee's Best ("the Beast") still throw you into a tailspin. What, that doesn't happen to you? Beer breath, acrid cigarettes, and a neck doused with cupfuls of dime-store cologne don't make you feel like a naive 16-year-old? Even if you were too busy "Beasting it" on the weekends to recall much about those years, Superdanger's full-length debut, with its nods to high school fight songs, broken hearts, summer nights, champions, and nerds, will rattle something out of those squeaky bleachers.

On their website, the local trio say they want to sound like a mixture of Pavement, the Cure, and the Pixies. They don't necessarily succeed at this goal, and actually sound more like the Shins: The songs shimmer instead of cut, the arrangements are pretty instead of chaotic, and the melodies are sweet instead of dissonant. In other words, going for Slanted and Enchanted and instead finding Oh, Inverted World is a good thing, like discovering that the cool kids whose hearts you thought were tar-colored actually cried during The Outsiders.

Not everything on Fight! Fight! Fight! works out so well. There are songs that employ too much of the background cheerleader section in what seems like an effort to set the music apart from other straightforward indie-rock fare. While jubilant and fun for brief periods, the shout-along vocals start to feel disingenuous, like screaming cutesy encouragement when the home team is down by about 987 points.

For the most part, though, the album is full of catchy songs buoyed by fragile vocals that twist and turn, echoing the highs and lows and the sadness and sweetness of the album's best songs, such as "Suicide Grrrlz," "Johan," and "Like Trap." And whether it was intentional or not, they mirror the feelings of high school better than any pep rally or pity party.

 
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