Hellafornia turns 16!

“The Bay Area’s Dexter Danger pump out a high-energy power-pop with a loud, brash and youthful exuberance that makes one want to jump around. With two EP’s and one full-length CD under their belts, this SF quartet has just come out with a new LP, “Hellafornia”, a panoply of loud, guitar-driven punk-pop (or pop-punk), with a tight, slick studio finish. Already a favorite on the Bay Area’s LIVE 105 (the KROQ of the North), Dexter Danger, no doubt, hope to broaden that airplay to your neck of the woods, and why not? The well-crafted pop-songs on “Hellafornia” show a potential for wide acceptance by teenagers everywhere through a combination of heavy-rotation, touring and word-of-mouth. Check ‘em out when they come to your town and you’ll be jumping up and down too!”

REVIEW BY: KM

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: Reviewer Magazine – San Diego, Issue 31, 12/24/2005

It’s Not Pretty Being Easy turns 20!

Dexter Danger’s first release, the “It’s Not Pretty Being Easy” EP turns 20 this month! Building on the groundwork of Spoiled Rotten (the band’s former name), Aymen Trouble, Sean McKnight, and Josh Curmi introduced Dexter Danger to what would eventually become a global audience before the band’s indefinite hiatus in 2006.

The EP was recorded at the Art of Ears studio in Hayward, California with the legendary punk recording engineer Andy Ernst who recorded and produced the early albums of Bay Area punk powerhouses like Green Day, Rancid, and AFI. Driven by a D.I.Y. spirit, the band sold Dexter Danger buttons, patches, stickers at shows to foot the recording bill.

While the group developed a large and loyal following across the Bay Area with regular performances at venues like Slim’s and the Great American Music Hall, “It’s Not Pretty Being Easy” caught the attention of the largest Bay Area modern rock radio station Live 105 KITS 105.3 FM and received regular airplay on the station’s popular weekly program “Local Lounge.”

Only 500 physical copies of the EP were produced which makes it an elusive find for Dexter Danger fans. Thanks to this great little invention called the Internet, we’re able to share “It’s Not Pretty Being Easy” with you without needing a physical copy of the EP! Can you imagine that?

Go back in time and take a listen to the very beginning of Dexter Danger! Listen to the “It’s Not Pretty Being Easy” EP on Bandcamp.

Forever Broken review by PopTartZine.com

“Dexter Danger? What a name, I love it. Well, Dexter Danger is a band that plays California pop punk. The one thing that sets them apart from the rest of those bands is lead singer Aymen Trouble’s nasaly yet extremely catchy voice. He has one of those voices that sticks in your head and you can’t help but sing along. On “Forever Broken” they give us 12 fast paced songs. Like I said these are incredibly poppy songs that stick in your head like gum on the bottom of your shoe. The best songs on the release are “The Second I Asked For” which has a kick-ass drum beat at one part and “View Her Discretion” which starts off with some distorted vocals and then blends into a catchy chorus and some vocal harmonies that this band pulls of very well. This is by far way better than any pop punk that you are going to buy from a label like Drive-Thru. I give this band a lot of credit for putting together such a solid recording without the backing of a label. Certainly that won’t be the case for long with their loyal local following and a sound that has been sweeping the pop charts lately these guys are sure to have some offers to be deciding over shortly.”

Dexter Danger
Forever Broken
Self-Released, April 19, 2002

REVIEW BY: Jason Stoner, Poptartzine.com

Forever Broken turns 19!

“Forever Broken” is our first full-length album. It was released in April 2002 and produced by Dexter Danger and Andy Ernst (Green Day, AFI, Rancid). To recognize 19 years of “Forever Broken,” we are sharing an album review by Aiden Dire, a local punk stalwart who would usually be found donning the tallest mohawk and standing front-row for all of his favorite local bands in the late 90s / early 2000s San Francisco peninsula punk scene.

“I got the new album early; I was very excited and rightfully so. While some may be critical about the re-release of some of their older songs, they carry new life with the new guitarist Miguel Ceja. With his addition, the set is complete. Each song gains new fullness and power. The re-releases are well worth hearing. I’d like to shine the spotlight on the 2 previously unheard songs The Angel That Got Away and Crimson Pools. The Angel That Got Away is a deep heartfelt cry to a loved one who has left and no one can do this better than Dexter Danger. This acoustic ballad strikes the heart with an uprising melody to contradict the sad lyrics, a feat few can do while still keeping the thought intact. Aymen Trouble’s haunting voice does just the trick to make a true beauty of a song. Crimson Pools is a confusion of feelings that comes with a torrid breakup. With a hook that grabs your attention and doesn’t let go, this is one song that truly shows Dexter Danger’s growth as musicians.

Dexter Danger is one of the few bands that have escaped the pitfall of an album, redundancy. With many bands/albums the songs seem to fall together, blurring. This is not the case with Forever Broken. Each song stands alone in its own epic way. Each song has its own personality and is unlike any other.

This is an album everyone needs to hear. If you’re already a fan, it will make you love Dexter Danger all the more, if not, you will be. So go buy it!!! This is Aiden Dire saying goodbye, much love and PUNK ROCK FOREVER!”

– Aiden Dire

Hellafornia review by The Daily Vault

I don’t usually spend a lot of time with the artwork on a CD, but the the cover of Dexter Danger’s Hellafornia demands attention. Imagine a super hero, complete with cape, flying near the Golden Gate Bridge. If you look very carefully, you notice the emblem on his shirt. It’s a heart with a line through the middle and a safety pin holding it together. It’s the perfect symbol for this release.

Ever since I heard Count The Stars’ Never be Taken Alive, I’ve been waiting for another band to grab me and not release me. I found that band: Dexter Danger. This quartet from California bring an energy and determination to their music that captures you and doesn’t release you. I can sit down and listen to this release over and over. It has the same magical quality, for me, that Count The Stars has — great musicianship, an awareness of melody and introspective lyrics. The vocals/guitars of Aymen Trouble melt into the pounding drums of Russ Akin, who is locked in with bassist Isaiah Sanchez. Lead guitarist Miguel Ceja provides interesting solos and another layer to the music.

I like this release so much because Dexter Danger tackle the main subject of my other favorite bands, namely Spitafield, Count The Stars, Somehow Hollow, and Project Bottlecap. The main subject of this release is relationships, mainly the ugly ones. “No Disgrace Like Home” confronts parental abandonment when Trouble sings, “So don’t bother because we turned out okay / And we didn’t need your guidance anyway / You’re the reason we are who [we] are today / And as for us, I guess there’s no disgrace like home.” Later, he sings about the frustration that has resulted from this relationship when he declares “We saw you once or twice, when you had the time / It’s great to see that you’ve prioritized your life.”

Another strong track is “System Overload,” which should have opened the disc, since the riff and vocals are the best ones here. After a subtle guitar intro, the intensity is turned up when vocalist Trouble belts out “I hope it’s okay / If I tell you that I fucking hate you.” The harmonies are perfect and the music captures the frustration of this relationship. That hatred comes out when Trouble sings, “You better pray that all the demons won’t come back to haunt you / ‘Cause you know that I’ll be waiting there with a smile to taunt you.”

“The Angel That Got Away” is the closest track to a ballad on this release, with words such as “I’ve been desparate to see your face / Never thought it would cause so much pain” on top of beautiful violins and an acoustic guitar. There’s more pain in my favorite track on this release, “Return To Sender,” which tells the story of being on tour, sending letters to the special person left behind, and finding out that they were all marked returned to sender. It captures the magic of the band.

Another great track that makes me chuckle is “See You In Hell.” No, it’s not a Grim Reaper cover — Dexter Danger wrote it. This song deals with another chaotic relationship when Trouble sings, “I’ve got some knives stuck in my back / From all the friends I used to have / Revenge is sweet I hear her say / The only faith that I believe.” What makes me chuckle is how this song leads into the last hidden track, a vulgar answering machine message followed by a hilarious vocal collaboration. It summarizes the release perfectly.

Dexter Danger joins the ranks of my favorite bands. Their musicianship is tight and their lyrics give you something to think about. While I don’t wish to be in their world, dealing with their issues, I think Hellafornia gives me just the right amount of pain.

Dexter Danger
Hellafornia
Orange Peal, 2005

REVIEW BY: Paul Hanson

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 04/28/2006

RATING: A

Written In Blood turns 16 today!

Our EP Written In Blood was released 16 years ago today! This release probably reached more people than any of our albums. We toured heavily for this EP and introduced Dexter Danger to the United States with multiple national tours. It was our first album sold in record stores (remember those?) across the U.S. and even Japan! Written In Blood was the torch that lit Dexter Danger’s trailblazing career. Thank you all for making this project possible and for your continued support almost two decades later. 🔥

Hellafornia turns 14 this month!

Our fourth baby, Hellafornia, turns 14 this month! We are grateful to everyone who made this album possible. Literal blood, sweat, and tears went into this project. From the time spent writing and recording this album to countless U.S. tours supporting it, what kept us going were all the people who believe in Dexter Danger. Thank you for everything, and long live Hellafornia!

Our first show at 924 Gilman St.

Seventeen years ago today, just before our first anniversary, Dexter Danger performed at 924 Gilman for the first time. It was a sold out Halloween show with Tsunami Bomb, Scissorhands, and Babyland.

This show was extra special for us because the bands we grew up on like Green Day, Operation Ivy, Rancid, and The Mr. T Experience, all called 924 Gilman home. So of course, one of our goals in life was to play the same stage our punk rock predecessors got their start on. What an amazing night, and what an honor.

Thank you for sharing this special time with us!