Following up on last year’s “Hiding Games” EP is Canada’s Safe To Say. “Down In The Dark” (moody title, right?) is the name of the band’s second full-length and sees them taking their previously established sound and then expanding on it.
They may have started out as a pop-punk band, but you’d be hard-pressed to still slap that label on them. Sure, tracks like opener “Only Rain” and “Afterglow” come with a punky edge, but this is more emo meets grunge meets alternative rock than anything else. There’s a whole lot of Brand New worshipping going on here, but there’s no shame in that. We’ve all been there. And I have to say that these guys are doing a pretty solid job in tracks like “Ultra Blue” and “Louver”.
That being said, “Down In The Dark” is not a perfect album. At times, it’s a bit too bombastic for their own good. The piano-driven “Hiraeth” feels unnecessary, the choir in “Your Favourite Dream” is overkill and “Slip” didn’t really need to go on for 6 minutes and 38 seconds. In fact, the entire album feels too long, clocking in at over 50 minutes. And that a cappella interlude that is “Crows”? Meh.
Maturing. Such a dirty word. For me, that whips up images of bands taking themselves too seriously. Before you know it, you’re standing on one leg playing the flute. If they can trim it a down a little next time around, I would probably enjoy this even more.