Melodically, it’s as dead-on as you’d expect from one half of Alkaline Trio’s songwriting team, with the energetic lead single ‘Lost’ providing a shining example of the reasons why Andriano decided to opt for a more expansive sound, exploding into life two minutes in and showing off the prowess of his backing band, which on ‘Party Adjacent’ includes Jeff Rosenstock of Bomb the Music Industry, who’s also on production duties.
Opener ‘Pretty Teeth’ brings some unexpected instrumental colour into the mix from the get-go – glockenspiel, organ, buzzing synths – while flashes of Andriano’s folkier side make themselves known on the likes of ‘Wait’ and ‘Don’t Have A Thing’, songs that will serve as ideal starting points for fans who prefer Andriano’s more stripped-back material. It’s diverse enough that, were it not for his recognisable vocals, one wouldn’t think it was connected to Alkaline Trio in any way.
True, you could imagine his day job getting away with a song such as ‘Fire Pit’, a rough-and-ready rock song that barrels through three-and-a-half minutes with the absolute minimum of fuss, while ‘Enemies’ suggests he’s been hanging out with Brian Fallon from The Gaslight Anthem, but elsewhere on the album, he takes influence from the recent, so-called “emo revival” movement on ‘Haunt Your House’, while closing track ‘Snake Bites’ suggests he’s been listening to some shoegaze on the side. While there are definitely some elements of his previous work here, his second solo record ventures into a surprising amount of new territory, and is impressively cohesive to boot.
‘Party Adjacent’ by Dan Andriano In The Emergency Room is out now on Asian Man Records/Xtra Mile Recordings.
Words by Gareth O’Malley (@vetusmemoria)