Review: Danny Denial – Fuck Danny Denial
National Music Reviews
Fuck Danny Denial
Danny Denial = The Lemonheads + Garbage + Billie Eilish
Danny Denial’s latest album, Fuck Danny Denial, is the perfect vibe for the nihilistic mind. It grapples with self-loathing and trying to transform this negativity into self-acceptance through the lens of punk, blended with dark pop. The album flows smoothly back and forth from a slow, melancholic pop sound to thrashing, guitar-driven punk. This sound makes Fuck Danny Denial feel like an anti-summer album—it feels like the heat of the season but also like it needs to be listened to at 2 a.m.
The beginning beats of the album on “Mercer summit block party/Brand new skirt,” sound like a cliché summer song beat but quickly shift with vocals that feel intentionally soulless. Denial sounds like someone who is at a summer party but is sitting in the corner having the absolute worst time. When the song switches from “Mercer summit block party” to “Brand new skirt,” the tone shifts even darker to an electronic grunge texture as Denial sings about suicide. The song also has a beautifully subtle use of the classic ‘90s grunge flange guitar in the background. It’s mixed in with slow, growling bass that’s reminiscent of the Seattle sound but feels modern with electronic and trap elements.
That growling, dark music is present throughout the album, perfectly complementing the themes of self-loathing and alienation. Denial fights against those themes, though, in songs such as “I’m not your type (Feat. DoNormaal)” where they sing, “I’m not waiting for anyone to come around / Make me think I’m worth it / I know I’m worth it.” This album allows the listener to simultaneously wallow in the darkest parts of themselves while also yanking them into the lighter parts. While dark themes in music are certainly not uncommon, it’s refreshing for an album to make sure you don’t fall too far down that hole.
Even with the dark and somber tone, Fuck Danny Denial isn’t without its humor. Denial sings lyrics like, “There’s a dark spot in the deepest part of my avocado soul,” in “Brand new skirt,” and “Blow my brains out with a blow dryer,” in “Everything is terrible.” Denial uses fantastically clever imagery like this throughout Fuck Danny Denial, which adds another layer onto the fatalistic vibe. Its humor takes normally dramatic and dark themes and adds in mundane, everyday life experience. The humor helps make the album relatable to everyday things while also making it wickedly entertaining to listen to.
Fuck Danny Denial is a genius blend of dark, fatalistic subjects and mundane humor in the lyrics combined with growling grunge, punk, trap and electronica. While there are obvious influences from Seattle’s ‘90s grunge era, Denial has made them absolutely their own. –Marina McTee