Twelve Years

Written by: TL on 10/05/2012 21:21:31

When Queens-based quintet Daytrader released their debut EP "Last Days Of Rome" to wild praise last year, people who have had some of their best experiences with rock music listening to early 00s emo-rock bands like Saves The Day, Brand New and Jimmy Eat World - people like me - were jumping up and down, instantly full of hope for our favourite genre possibly being revived again some 10 years down the stretch. Oh we've tried to stay cautious, telling ourselves that putting out a four track EP with an endearing sound and an opening track strong enough to contend for song of the year titles, is entirely different from putting out a full lenght, which has much higher requirements for consistency and diversity, yet even so, it's been a hard thing to not be very very stoked for the release of debut LP "Twelve Years", which dropped on the world two days ago via Rise Records.

The reality is that it was a good thing being cautious, because although Daytrader have honed their retrospective emo-rock sound - which is still comparable to the likes of Saves The Day, The Early November and Brand New - to sound even better here on "Twelve Years", those exact challenges I just mentioned are the very ones that trouble it. The band, a 'super group' of sorts, counting past members of various east coast punk rock bands, most famous of which were Crime In Stereo, gets into trouble especially in the early mid-section and closing stages of the album, where it becomes clear that their sound - although unusually strong and engaging as it is - does not have the nuance, nor do they have the consistency of songwriting to operate at the highest level for the duration of the record.

Fortunately for us hopefuls however, Daytrader are still pretty damn good when they do operate on their highest level, which they do on the first three tracks, "deadfriends", "If You Need It" and "Firebreather", all of which showcase some of the same strengths that helped "Kill My Compass" from the EP bowl everybody over. Each have the captivatingly sentimental verses and the high intensity choruses that give this band its unique energy, as does late album highlight "Struggle With Me". Furthermore, the lyrical depth on offer reveals that these gentlemen are considerably more experienced than were the youngsters that wrote the records Daytrader is inspired by, and while it means they will likely never reach the same level of youthful, desperate urgency, it allows them to sing with more nuanced emotions that are rather rare for this type of music.

Overall, "Twelve Years" (I wonder if it's called that because it's been twelve years since the golden age of its inspirations started?) has enough power in its strong moments to merit a purchase from fans of the genre, and a hard look even from listeners that are on the fence about it. That being said, I doubt that it will single-handedly save the emo-rock genre or gain long time cult status akin to that of records like "Tell All Your Friends" and "Your Favourite Weapon", but then perhaps it was always a little bit naive to believe that any band could manage that in their first try.

Download: Firebreather, Struggle With Me, deadfriends, If You Need It
For The Fans Of: Saves The Day, The Early November, Further Seems Forever, Brand New, Seahaven

Release Date 08.05.2012
Rise Records

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