Adrift in the oceans of reverb that have sprung from the last year’s more popular buzz genres, a new release from a label like Epitaph can feel like a freshly thrown life preserver. This is, after all, the imprint that continues to bring us music from bands like The Draft, Everytime I Die and Thursday, to say nothing of its illustrious back catalogue. Over the years, Epitaph has made gritty, punk-inflected rock’n’roll its watchwords, and on paper, Melbourne-based quartet Dangerous! seem to follow in that same vein with their debut Teenage Rampage.

Certainly, to the casual ear, these sounds are exactly what the antipodeans ply their trade in. Vocals sneer, guitars snarl, and the rhythm section pumps its fists energetically along behind it all. But it becomes unfortunately apparent on probing beneath the album’s veneer that there isn’t too much depth or quality to the record’s twelve cuts. When frontman Tommy Lofts shrieks “I know what you’re going through, I’ve been there too’”in the chorus to ‘Movers N Shakers’, you can practically see legions of angry, black-clad teenagers on the verge of tears with empathy. But as an adult listener, it just feels contrived and vacuous.

As Teenage Rampage unfolds, it becomes ever clearer that Dangerous! are simply rehashing what The Hives (a band once signed to Epitaph sister label Burning Heart) and every other garage rock revival band did a decade ago, and dressing it up in the relevant clothing for the digital age. A shiny mix. The odd rave-tone synth. An exclamation mark after their name instead of a definite article before it. The curled-lip attitude and thrusting, hi-octane parts will be familiar to anyone who listened to Your New Favourite Band in 2001, but trading in ragged immediacy (which was arguably missing from the millennium’s particular wave of garage punk anyway) for a polished sheen has left Dangerous! mostly failing to live up to their moniker.

In theory, Teenage Rampage could be a good record. Effeminate yelping bolstered by riffs pitched somewhere halfway between glam-metal and punk can be an attractive prospect, after all. The Bronx have crafted 3 brilliant albums from the latter, and Blood Brothers showed us that it was possible to strike out into innovative realms with the former. But with Ulrich Wild’s slick production smoothing out any rough edges (and any sort of individuality), a lyric sheet that’s unlikely to appeal to anyone over the age of fifteen, and little of the songwriting prowess of their precursors, Dangerous! seem unlikely to become a key band on the Epitaph roster.