As I listen to Hurricane Season, a solo album from Dan Andriano of Alkaline Trio, its gray and miserable outside and rain is falling. The very first line of the first song (of the same name) is “It’s gonna rain all day.” Indeed, it matches the mood perfectly, and taking the album’s title into account, perhaps it’s not a surprise to find such themes opening the run of excellent songs.
Despite the arguably heavy-handed imagery of its title, it’s a beautiful song with a smattering of found-sound recording of rainfall at the end. This segues neatly into the atmospheric title track: it begins with urgent drum beats, and then the guitars and vocals slowly, beautifully fade up into an ode to keeping your head up, despite the literal and proverbial rain that falls around you. Indeed, if the images of the opener were dark, then “Hurricane Season” offers some choice images in its lyrics that really did get my mind working. The same applies to “Hollow Sounds,” with its wonderful comparison of a special someone with a cigarette habit given up long ago.
By the time we get to the “Let Me In,” the upbeat riffs appear with an urgency that really clicks with the listener. There are many moments of perfect simplicity on this album, and this track is one of them. The calm-before-the-storm atmosphere pensiveness that pervades the album brings an easygoing sound that belies the dark nature of much of the words.
This is a release best appreciated when sitting back and taking note of the delicate touches that lift this album from being merely an ode to calm contemplation of life and its intricacies. Especially listen for the outstanding, image-filled lyrics Andriano writes that give the music a life all of its own.
(Asian Man Records, PO Box 35585, Monte Sereno, CA 95030)