San Diego Music: Danny and the Tramp "All In" Album Review


In another life, I did a lot of freelance writing for music blogs and local magazines. I interviewed bands like Best Coast and Neon Trees long before they had hits on the radio and had a pretty uncanny ability to predict the future of an album after one listen to the review copy. I say this because you should believe me when I tell you that Danny and the Tramp's new record "All In" should be the soundtrack to your summer.

Disclaimer: I'm a little biased - but I swear, only a little. Brandon, DNT's drummer and resident Aero Club bartender, is our good friend and one of the coolest dudes I know. I would add that he's also one of the nicest guys I know, but I don't want to tarnish his rock and roll image. And, funny story, after seeing them play at the Belly Up, Danny (fellow East Coast-er, lead singer and co-founder of the band) and I realized we work in the same building. This fact also ended up explaining that guy who'd spent months walking around the corporate park with his headphones on during lunch hour: it was Danny, listening to cuts of the album... further evidence of the band's dedication to their music. These are some pretty badass good guys. Their music is even better.

Thanks to their early years as a cover band, Danny and the Tramp can play practically any genre of music and make it sound easy. That musical range is on display in "All In," their first full-length album following their debut release, "The American Dream EP." "All In" kicks off with "Downtown," a love song about a very complicated relationship: that between San Diegans and their party scene. Lines like "We got the spins // we got the shakes // yeah, we got banned from Mission Beach" and "We're going downtown // I hope these nights don't end // we're going downtown // to do it all again" accurately capture an average Wednesday night here. The dance party then segues into "Matter of Time" which has the big sound and energy of a CAKE single.

As bright and encouraging as a sunrise the morning after, "A Resolution" is the perfect track to max out your car stereo on the drive of shame home. And the next two songs, "Talk About It" and "Catch Fire" are what I imagine a bromance between twangy Texas country and 90s alt-rock sounds like. Things slow down a bit a couple of tracks later with "Mind F@#$ (She's My Love)," a song reminiscent of the easygoing beats of Pepper's beachier jams, only to pick right back up again in "Hipster Funeral" which covers mustaches and PBR during some Kid Rock-esque talk rap.

"Day Drinking" is short little acoustic anthem about my favorite weekend pastime: "Day drinking and it feels so good // I don't  know if we''ll make it to the night // Which bars are open? // What's the time? // I've got nothing left to lose // Raging's what I got on my mind." It's so good because it's true: I'm pretty sure I've tweeted those same phrases on any given Sunday Funday. But DNT saves two of the best for last: "Moonshine" is an impossibly catchy tune that could have been on the soundtrack for any film from the American Pie franchise (except American Reunion because that was just terrible). And "How to Run" closes "All In" on a note of pop rock perfection.

You don't have to take my word for it. Check out the link to the video for album teaser below or go see them live. Danny and the Tramp put on the most fun local show I've ever been to, hands down. I hate when I go to see bands I don't know and have to pay a cover for what ends up being a lame night. But a DNT show means cheap beer, Fireball shots, dancing your face off and an all-around guaranteed good time. Go check them out during their CD Release Party at 710 Beach Club on August 3rd or at Gallagher's Irish Pub in OB on August 16th (no cover!) and prepare to be entertained by your new favorite local band.