Daycare For Jedi

Worst Things First EP

Written by: PP on 11/03/2015 22:41:19

Since the demise of The National Shut Up some years ago, the number of Danish bands qualifying for a pop punk tag fell to exactly one, The 20Belows, and even they don't play the genre the way we hear it overseas (they play more of a Europeanized Ramones inspired no-frills style). It's a genre that never picked up the pace over here, even less so its bastardized cousin in easycore which was all the rage for a period of time across the pond and in the UK. Having formed in 2014, Daycare For Jedi from Århus seek to change that with four-track debut EP "Worst Things First EP", a surprisingly mature and well-rounded take on pop punk that mixes one part Millencolin style skate punk with one part "Get Stoked On It!"-era The Wonder Years to arrive at an infectiously catchy sound. Yes, believe it or not, realist pop punkers The Wonder Years weren't always so serious and actually played pop-hardcore / easycore on their 2007 debut album, as far removed from their contemporary sound as that might be. You know, the same year year when Four Year Strong were also turning excited heads on "Rise Or Die Trying".

Aiming for straight up easycore expression emulating a specific era almost a decade ago was always going to be a dangerous premise, so it's a relief to see Daycare For Jedi implement a somewhat more serious and modern take on the genre instead. Yes, a song like "Broken Bones" has bouncy riffs and mosh-friendly rhythms that echo the scream along pits of "Get Stoked On It!" songs, but the primary focus has been to write solid riffs with excellent choruses instead of pieces concentrated on mindless fun. Vocalist Jens Erik Keldmann's singing resembles a certain Nikola Sarcevic (Millencolin) to a great extent, meaning spread out cleans where the lines feel both explosive and varied despite remaining in the catchy clean vocal territory, and generally the instrumentals tend to lean towards skate punk ideals for the majority of the time. A great, crisp mixing and production job allows the band to seamlessly shift between the two styles without it sounding awkwardly put together, and as such, the songs vary from straight up skate punk to the parts where you pump your fist and crazily bounce wall-to-wall inside the venue. Best of all, the professional quality suggests Daycare For Jedi are export-ready already at this early stage in their career because they've got both the songs and the sound to convince any listener of their cause.

That is, provided they like pop punk, and that's always going to be a monumental obstacle in Denmark given the sorry state of the genre and its appeal over here. Us pop punk enthusiasts are few and far in between, so even though we appreciate the tapped guitar melodies, the sing-along tunes and the classic "Pennybridge Pioneers"-era Millencolin nods amidst the easycore vibes, it'll be much more difficult to convince people not having taken pop punk 101 already beforehand - as evidenced by the lackluster response to the band's Distortion set last year. That being said, "Worst Things First" EP is an extremely high-quality pop punk release no matter which way you look at it, so crazier things have happened. The production is top notch, the songs are mad catchy, and their vocalist has charisma.

Download: Gain And Lose, Sinking Adventure
For the fans of: Millencolin, Four Year Strong, (old) The Wonder Years, With The Punches
Listen: Facebook

Release date 13.02.2015

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