The Audition is an alternative/punk rock band that has seen its share of ups and downs. Two phenomenal debut albums (Controversy Loves Company and Champion) established them as a real force in the category of Bands-You-Are-Cooler-For-Knowing, but they found little mainstream success. Both of these things changed with their Self-Titled Album, which was not terrible music, but certainly didn’t live up to their prior tunes. The music was too mainstream and alienated fans, myself included. To be honest, I thought that was the point in The Audition’s discography that I would look back on a few years from now and wish it never happened because they could have been great.
Great Danger proved me wrong in every way possible. The Audition found the perfect blend and made music that is accessible to a larger audience but also appeases the fans who were disappointed with the third album. This is the album that The Audition has always been capable of and although they have shown these flashes of brilliance in the past, Great Danger marks the culmination of their talent.
You can often guess a lot about the direction an album is going in based on the first song and this record is no exception. “Let Me Know” immediately impresses with a catchy and upbeat little jingle about wondering whether or not a relationship is going to survive. Lead singer Danny Stevens is phenomenal throughout this album, showing off a vast array of vocal talent that is extremely melodic and nearly flawless. His voice joins the fun guitar scheme to create something unique and appealing in almost every song, and the first track is a perfect example of this.
“You Ruined This,” the first single of the album, continues the trend of being extremely catchy and upbeat. Solid drumming from Ryan O’Connor and engaging guitar riffs from Seth Johnson and Timmy Klepek give the song a great pop punk feel, bringing me back to the good old days of punk rock back in the 90’s and early 2000’s. Stevens stands out in this song, displaying his uncanny ability to instantly change pitches and nail the high notes. The melody in his voice matches up with the mood of the song perfectly and it translates into a fantastic single and music video.
“He’s All You Want” takes a turn from the upbeat and is a little more dramatic than normal, but it is a nice change of pace and after hearing a song like this, I have to wonder why they’ve never made one like it before. The guitar here is heavier, giving the song a rocking and more serious tone and the guitar solo characterizes the mood of the song very accurately. The chorus is an explosion of activity with fast-paced drumming and guitar-chugging, and Stevens’ vocals once again deliver. The melodic high notes that are mixed in with the intensity of the song make it a memorable listen.
“Ms. Crumby” returns to the lighter side of The Audition and is an instant classic for the band. The guitar is limited to the background for the most part, but this approach adds a nice touch to the song. This song represents the pinnacle of Stevens’ talent for hitting the high notes, as nearly the entire chorus is sung in a pitch that is unattainable by about 99% of the population. This is my personal favorite, although “He’s All You Want” is a close second (and “Make It Rain” will probably always be my favorite of all time). Every song on this album is solid, but this track stands out for its fun and engaging atmosphere that is coupled with a slightly sentimental undertone.
I was very concerned about the direction The Audition was taking after their Self-Titled Album, but Great Danger completely restored my faith in them. A truly great album is not only worth listening to on its own, but it is one that also encourages you to go back and listen to the group’s old music and relive the memories that accompany those older records. I can honestly say after listening to this album multiple times, I went through a week-long period of only listening to The Audition because I was hooked on their music again, and that fact represents the remarkable nature of this album. I’m eagerly awaiting the next chapter in this promising band’s future. Fans of The Starting Line, Every Avenue, Mayday Parade and Go Radio should be too.
Final Score: 9/10
Rank: 1st (four total albums)
- Let Me Know
- The Art Of Living
- You Ruined This
- He’s All You Want
- Ms. Crumby
- Can You Remember
- Honest Mistake
- Run Away
- Never Heard Again
- Final Adventure