'Gulch rock? What is gulch rock?’
As one of Mostar’s regular reviewers for the last six months or so, I had never come across a term like this before. Even a quick Google search led to a dead end. There was only one thing to do - ask the man whose band claims to produce this unique style of music.
“It’s music that sounds like it’s echoing out of a desert ravine as you and your friends are looking for a safe spot to bury the body,” Aaron Sarlo says, singer and guitarist for American band, The Dangerous Idiots.
Still unclear about what it is? Well don’t let that put you off when it comes to their debut album, released today on iTunes. Fans of The Foo Fighters, The Pixies and classic indie rock bands, are in for a treat with Dangerous Idiots, their first EP released on record label Mostar Records.
Like no other album I’ve listened to, they make their intention known from the very beginning track in such an obvious and blunt way. From the moment you hear ‘Are you tired of all the bullshit?’ that leads into their track, He Who Has the Information Is the Leader, it’s clear that this is no ordinary band, nor album. It’s more than lyrics, it’s a statement.
“It was a mighty purging in my mind that helped me come to terms with the thoughtlessness rampant in American life,” Aaron says. Unlike artists who find a style that works and stick to it throughout the album, The Dangerous Idiots will continue to leave you guessing, wondering what the next song on the album will have to offer. And it never disappoints!
From the catchy bass riff on Never Want to Let You Go, to the soft sound of Less for You, the band gives the listener a new experience with every track. Fans of Kansas’ ‘Dust in the wind,’ however, will have to fight back the urge to sing ‘I close my eyes,’ at the beginning of the album’s final track, Sad. It took me a few listens before I stopped subconsciously mouthing the words.
Chicago born Aaron Sarlo has had previous success with bands. His high school group Techno Squid Eats Parliament was signed to Ardent Records and featured on MTV’s ‘120 minutes.’ They even released the world’s first audio-visual CDs that included the band’s record, as well as photos, videos and behind-the-scene footage.
It’ll be silly to think, then, that The Dangerous Idiots would conform to what is ‘commercial’ at the minute. Instead they are looking for what’s going to take off in the future, and will make sure that they’re at the forefront of it.
My favourite track on the album has to be Can I Get a Role Model, with its Fountains of Wayne style verses mixed with a rock chorus The Clash would be proud of it, I’ve been putting it on repeat since I got the album through.
It’s been difficult to try and get across in a review how diverse Dangerous Idiots EP is. Aaron describes the band as, “intense, literal, cinematic, and button-pushy,” which definitely comes across in their new album. With emotional songs, political lyrics, and just plain catchy tunes, it’s one of the few times I’ve been surprised by an album - but in a good way.
Aaron has shown once again he has what it takes to make an interesting and exciting album and I’m sure there is more to see from this promising band.
— Chris McKay, Jul. 6, 2011