The phrase ‘raw talent’ is so overused one feels instantly self-conscious using it to connote just about anything. On listening to Day of Days’ debut album, however, that is exactly the term that materialised, opalescent and insistent, in my mind.
The album drifts into life with ‘Losing Hand’, a slow burner reminiscent of Black Stone Cherry, while the ragged ‘Polaroid’ would not sound out of place on a Placebo album – indeed, singer Paul Petrie’s voice is not dissimilar to Brian Molko’s.
Lilting, energetic, vehement, it is complimented by churning guitars and rhythmic drumming. The four-piece, who met after attending the same Crieff secondary school, sound as though they are aiming for the same market of fans as Funeral for a Friend or Mercury Rev, though their music never sinks into kohl-eyed pastiche; track three ‘We Dream’ features computerisations and a sound that is equal measures broody and affirming, with some poetic lyrics that lift them above the self-loathing of so many young post-hardcore bands: ‘We dream of an island floating around on the deep blue sea…moonlight shimmers and stars dance on the sea’ sings Petrie, while the final refrain of ‘True love’s a story you never read’ is particularly poignant.
The band impassively sweep from rock to electronic on ‘Luxury Heart’, low-lying guitar wove into the mix and the showcasing of atmospheric two-part harmonies. Some odd spoken word is employed in ‘Daylight’ followed by gospel-sounding Flamingos-esque cooing, a welcome departure from the darkness spun in the album’s first half.
‘Mindus’ sounds vaguely apocalyptic, the kind of song you can imagine sound tracking scenes from The Road. Oddly the title-track grates, suffering from the selfsame syndrome of familiarity, while album closer ‘Places of the Unknown’ sees drummer Graeme MacDonald load his sidearm’s to produce the kind of beat heard in a theatre of war.
Over all, the album showcases more potential than outright excellence, just barely failing to lift itself from the crowded emo/post-punk field, but it certainly has its high-points and one can see the band upstaging more than a couple of headline acts should they end up in venues like the SECC or 02 Academy: their rambunctious sound would go down well in those types of scuzzy environs. One to watch for the future.
Words: Ronnie McCluskey