Bringing Down Goliath

Second Dan

Independent release, 2008

REVIEW BY: Jason Warburg


Anthems are a tricky business.  I mean, even masters of it like U2 and Springsteen have been known to moan to the press about how hard it is to put together a song that clicks on all levels, that unlocks the magic combination of musical muscle and lyricism that sends stadium-sized crowds into a frenzy.

Which is to say, it’s fairly gutsy of a young indie band like New York quartet Second Dan to venture straight into anthem territory with their album opener “Color Of My World.”  The good news is, it works.  The words are an affirmation designed to get the blood pumping (“With you by my side / I can take on the universe”), the guitars ring, the drums thunders, and everything clicks.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Second Dan -- whose lineup includes Dan Rosen on lead vocals and guitar, Adam Wolfe Lerner on guitar, Sonny Ratcliff on bass and Danny (the other Dan) Reisbick on bass -- might have a U2-sized sound at times, but the comparisons that seem more spot-on after a full listen are Oasis and Jet.  As exemplified by lead single “Forget To Remember," this is super-sized guitar rock, big, hooky songs with hammering beats under rich melodies.

“I Met A Girl” and “The Elephant Fell To Earth” add a bit of sheeny Maroon 5-ish blue-eyed funk to the mix, though when the latter song started I grabbed for the booklet to see if the band was really covering the Police’s “Hole In My Life” (no, they just borrowed the opening riff). The Oasis-flavored “Running Out Of Feelings” has a bit of anthemic bombast to it but lacks comparably weighty subject matter, which is why it turns out to be a wise decision to keep it tight and concise.  The even-more-Gallagher-brothers-ish “Make Me Want To” gets a more expansive reading which in that case works out just fine.

Other than largely acoustic closer “How You Getting On,” the last third of this disc sounds a lot like the first two-thirds, which could be either a compliment or a knock depending on your perspective.  That said, Second Dan pulls this stuff off better than just about any indie band I’ve found working this territory in the last few years.  If you’ve ever wondered what that big heavy Oasis/U2 stadium rock sound might sound like with a little more of a pop edge, you should definitely give Second Dan a shot.

Rating: B

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