The Cosmic American


The bluesy, psychedelic sway of Danny End the Dictators


Coincidence Theory is the third album from Danny End the Dictators, and although they have a distinct sound, they’ve grown with each release.

2021’s Relentless already showed just how versatile and far-ranging the band can be. Opener “Letting Go” begins with a psychedelic, blues-y sway before opening up into concise indie rock. “Vanity” and “When in Rome” explore the more chill side of the band, “Aiden” almost swings, and “All There Is” has shades of New Wave and early ‘00s indie.

The Death of Sovereignty, which came out earlier this year, found the band maturing, especially with their songwriting. “Crawling” has a slightly darker, heavier edge than many of the tracks on Relentless, riffy “One in a Million” is also more rock oriented, “Recidivism” builds on the gloriously sludge-y psychedelia on Relentless, and they really sprawl out on tracks like “One in a Million” and album-closing “True Wealth.”

Coincidence Theory is another leap forward for the band. Album opener “Seule” has the bluesy, psychedelic sway that the band does so convincingly. The riffs are catchy and concise, and the big melody of the verses show just how much they’ve grown over the short couple years they’ve been releasing music.

“Take a Swing” features more strong riffing. Like a lot of Danny End the Dictators’ music, it has a slightly mid-golden age (‘80s) metal feel, but doesn’t feel dated at all, or like they’re copying anyone. “Back Baby” hearkens back to some of the more expansive songs on The Death of Sovereignty, only, like “Seule,” there’s a distinct step forward songwriting-wise, especially with how engaging the melody is during the verses.

Another memorable riff carries “Evolve to Dissolve.” Its more laid-back psychedelic vibe brings to mind some moments from Relentless. The organ is a nice touch, and the chorus is one of their catchiest. “Flagellate the Sky” begins with a riff reminiscent of ‘80s Uriah Heep before settling into more straightforward hard rock.

There are more keyboards on Coincidence Theory than on the band’s prior two albums, and an example of how much that opens their sound is on “Contigo.” It’s no less heavy than a lot of their stuff, though it has a slightly poppier feel, which is accentuated by the piano. “Paper to Pen,” like many tracks on Relentless, has a chill, effortless vibe, with the guitar work adding a necessary counterpoint.

Danny End the Dictator’s poppiest song by far is “Desiree.” It’s almost jaunty, and the singalong quality of the verses and chorus is another example of the growth of their songwriters. Don’t worry, though, even though it’s slightly poppier than a lot of their songs, it still features some heavy-hitting guitar. “Drained” features another catchy chorus.

Like “Desiree,” “All I Know” is almost jaunty. The concise, two-minute track has almost an updated 50s rock feel, something of a combo platter of the more subdued side of early garage rock 80s metal. It concludes Coincidence Theory on a high note.

In addition to their music, the visuals that accompany Danny End the Dictators’ albums add to the experience of listening to them. Each of their album covers are artsy in a good way, and the videos that play during their songs on Spotify are pretty cool. Danny End the Dictators is one of the better band names I’ve come across lately, too.

The band correctly describes their music as “abstract observations, alt rock interpretations, music from the underground.”

Check out Danny End the Dictators’ website for streaming/purchasing options

Erik Ritland is a songwriter and journalist from Nashville, Tennessee. He's released 13 records and EPs, most recently 2021's innovative movie album Old Dog Almost Gone. His journalism has been featured on Something Else! Reviews, Music in Minnesota, and more, and his articles have been shared by members of bands as diverse as KISS, the Monkees, Son Volt, and Low Cut Connie.