So Dang Rad is a scary record. No, it's not brutally heavy or filled with lyrics reminiscent of heavy metal days of yore. It's alarming because the music is so good and yet the album is almost single-handedly ruined by lead singer Ashod Simonian's off-key vocals. There are a great many singers who sing high-pitched and can mistakenly be thought of as singing off-key, such as Danielson, who is technically in tune. Simonian's vocals are just blatantly hard on the ears. "Devon Made a Change for the Better" is the most obvious example of this, with the listener forced to not only cringe at each verse, but also to wonder why the music is mixed so much higher than the vocals. Musically speaking, it's a solid album, with comparisons to Grandaddy or the Microphones being appropriate. While the music is sparse, it's peaceful and reflective, unfortunately giving one an opportunity to ponder the horrendous vocals that then dominate each song. Ironically, on the tune "Sway," one of the lines has Simonian proclaiming, "My voice sucks." Yes, indeed.
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