Latest release: Summertime Highs (Independent)Website: https://www.facebook.com/dangerouscurvesofficial/
Like every band on the planet, Dangerous Curves just wanted to share their new album with the world. Just like for so many others, too, the world had other plans for the band.
“It was ready maybe six or seven months ago, and we thought we’d just chill,” explains vocalist Kym Britten. “Lockdowns would end and it will get back to normal, but the more it went on, the more we thought, ‘How long are we going to be fucking sitting on this thing?’ So we kept rolling with the set date we had, fingers crossed. It didn’t work out for the launch party, but that’s how it is.”
Summertime Highs is the second full length release from the Geelong rockers, coming a full three years after So Dirty Right. The singer acknowledges how much things have advanced for them as songwriters and musicians since then as they learned about their craft through the process of recording and re-evaluating their earlier work.
“The writing process for this album just seemed a lot sweeter. Instead of letting stuff just slide,” he says, “we really concentrated on specific hooks and stuff like that, and a lot more on the melodies, and harmonies. With the first one, the first time hearing yourself recorded properly as a band, you’re blown away in such a way that you can almost get clouded… we listen to it now and we think about how we could have done so much. But that’s the way you progress.”
He’s not about to put down the previous release, however. Britten’s just super keen about how the new one has come out.
“Don’t get me wrong, [So Dirty Right] was a real fun album, and a lot of people like it, but with this album, we’re getting our finesse in the recording process and the writing process. With recording especially – going through it with a fine-tooth comb and getting it to the product that we really want. When we listen to it now, we don’t know if there is anything we could have done much better at this point of time. That’s always a bonus, when you can say, ‘I can’t believe we made this!’”
Even after several months of sitting on the album and re-listening to it almost daily, Summertime Highs still stands up to the band’s own standards: “As the album is now, we’re all very happy. WIth the first one, when we got the last draft of that, there was a hesitancy – should we go back and change this? No, it’s too late. Looking back on that, we’re happy that we didn’t change it.”
Between album releases, Dangerous Curves dropped the track Take Me Money. The song became an instant hit with fans, but in the end, it didn’t make the cut for Summertime Highs.
“A lot of fans asked us why we didn’t put that on the album, but now they’ve heard this one, they probably agree that there wasn’t room for it on there,” Britten says, and with good reason. His band’s new album is packed with good solid rock and roll songs. Some of them even surprised him. First single Good and the Bad was developed from a song the singer wasn’t originally much invested in. It wasn’t until some of the other guys in the band suggested it had something before he finally came around.
“Good and the Bad was a throwaway from probably about a year and a half ago. Cammy (Paul – guitars) and Lukey (Chapman – drums) just said we should revisit that song, there was something about that riff. It wasn’t edgy enough for me for what I thought we were doing at the time. But we revisited it and I ended up writing a whole new melody line for it. When we got it back, that one track stood out from the rest, just how smooth it was. We’re pretty happy we didn’t throw it out. Nightmare Games is another one. It’s a heavier song that’s got kind of a novelty niche about it. It’s written about a horror movie from the 80s. There was something about it, even before it had been laid down and put together.”
The lesson they’ve learned from that is to be careful what to throw away.
“There’s a couple of songs on the album that were written years ago and we re-visited them. One riff turned into a chorus, one turned into a bridge, we put them all together and they turned into a new song. So we record everything that we do, on our phones, or whatever, and just flip through them every now and again. There’s a couple [of new songs] we’re already working on, but obviously not too much because we’ve got to concentrate on these new tunes and really get them up to live level.”
Together since 2015, Dangerous Curves now have a pretty strong and solid dynamic when it comes to getting their material together. Britten likens it to the way a sporting team works with a coach to achieve their goals. It doesn’t hurt to have a prolific guitarist either.
“Our guitarist is just a riff machine,” he says of Cammy Paul. “He’ll come in and he might only have a five second riff that he’s written, and he’s just doodling around with it before we start jamming, so we’ll start working on it instead of going through the set. The whole night we’ve gone from a five second riff into a three and a half minute song. We’ve got a nice, comfortable writing process… sometimes someone might say, ‘I’m sorry for being a bit of a prick, but I just wanted to get this point across’, but everyone’s like, ‘No, we need that prick sometimes to push us or we wouldn’t have had that song to come out the way it did!’ It’s necessary, like a footy coach, pushing the team.”
The pandemic killed off their plans for a big album launch, but the uncertainty of the COVID era has also taught the band some valuable lessons.
“I think it’s helped us be ready for anything. Chuck something into the mix, we grab this, we grab that, we have this now, so how do we make it work -, getting shit thrown at us? Instead of sitting here going, ‘What the fuck do we do now?’, we work it into the plan. If we have this problem, let’s take it onboard and keep working with it, and make it work for us. It’s definitely been a headache, but it’s shown us that you can still do it regardless of what’s going on. It’s made us grow up a little bit on the business side of things.”
The band’s music has also grown and matured since their first, brash, self-titled EP dropped in 2016 that opened with the none-too-subtle Blow My Whistle. While Dangerous Curves still sound like they stepped right out of 1985, they’re perfectly at home in 2021 too, and that’s just how they like it.
“We just write the songs we think sound cool, and think people will enjoy them as much as we will, hopefully.”