If Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake and Carlos Santana had a musical love child and allowed his music to be remixed by Roy Wood, you’d likely have Danger Radio.
On the band’s second EP, Punch Your Lights Out, they continue to defy genres, but lay down a groove so infectious, even this rhythm-challenged reviewer couldn’t help but move.
Hailing from Puerto Rico and Finland, Danger Radio started as an indie pop-punk band, but decided they’d rather play the music they most enjoy listening to. That is, dance pop with more musical sophistication than what is typically found on the dance charts.
Leading off with the Latin-flavored “Party Foul,” the band gets the dance party started right away with its unmistakable groove, pausing momentarily at the bridge for some little girl vocals by producer Tom Phaeffle’s kids, only to kick back in with a scorching guitar solo (Listen/Download).
“Slow” takes a Timberlake-style vocal and mixes it with jazzy piano and smooth guitar licks while remaining danceable and radio-friendly (Listen/Download).
“Keep it Up” takes elements of ska and adds a hard-driving rock chorus and more great lead guitar work. On an EP loaded with grooves and rocking tracks, “Keep it Up’ easily rocks the hardest (Listen/Download).
“Sparkle Baby Shine” is a funk-rock workout that goes to Jamaica for its reggae bridge. It’s at once inventive and original, and still fun, in spite of its edgier lyrics. Likewise, the title track features scathing lyrics juxtaposed with an electric funk piano right out of an old Stevie Wonder album (Listen/Download).
While it is difficult to pin one specific genre on Danger Radio, one thing is clear – the band is oozing with talent. Danger Radio plans on recording their debut album this year, and if Punch Your Lights Out is any indication, fans are in for a long, funky ride.