Daylight – The Difference In Good And Bad Dreams


Artist

Album

The Difference In Good And Bad Dreams

Label

Run For Cover Records

Year

2012

For Fans Of

Title Fight - Make Do And Mend

Summary

A brilliant start to 2012.

Rating

80 / 100

Daylight have always been one of the most emotionally endearing bands of recent years. Their brand of melodic hardcore-punk is drenched with an aesthetic of raw desperation, unleashing their inner turmoils upon the listener with intensely personal songwriting that aches with loathing and regret. On their third EP release The Difference In Good And Bad Dreams’, the band has continued to refine the formula set in place on Sinking’ and Dispirit’, polishing down the rough edge of previous releases in favour of a sound that is more conventionally accessible.

The overall stylistic shift on the record is made apparent from the beginning. Opening track On The Way To Dad’s’ sees the band slowing down the frenetic, driving pace of previous EP opener ‘Selfish’, introducing themselves with reserved, full-bodied powerchords that will remind many of latter-day Title Fight. The abrasive wash of distortion that characterised the guitar tones on ‘Dispirit has been sanded over with heightened production values, a decision that may garner a lukewarm reaction from existing fans. Despite sacrificing some of their DIY punk immediacy with these changes, the EP as a whole speaks of a band preparing themselves for much larger things, honing their musical abilities down to an easily digestible knife-edge.

Second track ‘Hungry At A Funeral adds a drastic dynamic shift to the EP, cutting the pace down to a slow crawl of sparse, minimalist drumming that provides the backdrop for softly plucked, twinkling guitar lines. This strikingly poignant embrace of the sensibilities set in place by 90s emo bands like Sunny Day Real Estate quickly builds to a crescendo of pounding snare and bass drum hits before settling into the familiar, mid-paced tempo of the opening song. Though this is far from a happy release, the tone of the instrumentation on the EP is decidedly more upbeat than previous efforts by the band, with steady powerchords decorated with harmonised melodic phrases to chug the tracks along.

The EP’s lyrics traverse ground that will be familiar to any Daylight fan, unearthing and confronting the trepidations of the songwriters and laying their darkest and most destructive emotions bare before the listener. Opener On The Way To Dad’s’ is a particularly affecting track in which principle vocalist Taylor Madison discusses his inability to confide with his family, turning to musical composition as an alternative means of expressing his feelings. On ‘The Difference In Good And Bad Dreams’, Madison has relaxed the melodic hardcore strain of his voice, settling on a much more conventional singing technique that echoes the style utilised by Make Do And Mend frontman James Carroll. The belting, forced choruses that assault the listener with catchy, rising melodies are balanced out with subdued, low-sung interludes that are almost whispered in comparison, with tracks like Hungry At A Funeral’ layering the two styles to create tuneful, harmonised vocal lines.

Conclusion

On their third EP release in as many years, Daylight have refined the sound pioneered on ‘Sinking’ and ‘Dispirit’, purveying a style of melodic hardcore-punk cut deep with influences from the emo bands of the early 90s. Their Run For Cover Records debuts polishes down much of the rough-handed grit that characterised the production of their earlier material, resulting in an easily accessible release that drips with gripping, bitter poignancy.

Tracklisting

1. On The Way To Dad’s
2. Hungry At A Funeral
3. Damp
4. In My Dreams

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