Sunday, May 6, 2012

Album Review: Daytrader - Twelve Years

Last year when Daytrader released their first EP, Last Days of Rome, I found myself in a 'love upon first listen' situation. I had missed out on hearing their demo when it first debuted (of course, I got it from their bandcamp immediately after I had discovered the band), so the EP was my introduction to them. I'd be lying if I said that having ex-members of Latterman and Crime in Stereo wasn't the reason I was the main reason I checked them out, but goddamn was Last Days of Rome good. Rather than simply continuing the sound of the members previous bands like so many post-main projects do, Daytrader sounded really fresh despite that what they were doing mostly took influence from 90's emo and punk.

album art via AbsolutePunk.
But if you're here, then you already know what Last Days of Rome sounds like and you've got a pretty good idea about Daytrader's history, so I won't go on about that any longer. Twelve Years is the logical full length follow up to their fantastic EP. It follows a similar formula as before, but it slightly tinkered with to create a new listening experience. There are still plenty of choruses to scream along with (Deadfriends, Firebreather, Lost Between the Coasts, Struggle with Me, and Silver Graves... to name half the album), just as there are mellowed verses to croon to (Skin & Bones, and Heard It In a Song, in addition to the previously mentioned tracks) and while it all sounds vaguely familiar there is something about Daytrader's style that makes it sound refreshing.

Produced by Mike Sapone, the same guy who worked on Tell All Your Friends and Your Favorite Weapon (alongside many other popular records), Twelve Years sounds pretty much like it could have been pulled straight from 2003, but at the same time it doesn't- if that makes any sense. There are some pretty obvious influences: The Get Up Kids, Jimmy Eat World, Sunny Day Real Estate, Saves the Day, but while there are hints of all of those bands on Twelve Years, there's never a moment when Daytrader actually sounds exactly like any of those bands. I think it has a lot to do with the lead vocals, provided by the man only known as Tym. His voice is clean and kind of nasally, but it's also incredibly fierce and powerful and even when he's singing at his hardest it never sounds like he's straining himself to get there.

While Daytrader might not exactly pick up the broken pieces left by the dissolution of the former bands that the members used to play in, they do swoop in and fill in the empty gap that's been present in the scene ever since screaming over heavy techno beats became a thing. Daytrader, you're more than welcome to stay for as long as you'd like.

Other things to note:
-Silver Graves reminds me of that Coheed and Cambria might write. Not a whole lot, but enough to warrant mentioning it.
-There's a very brief moment in the chorus of Heard It In a Song that actually does sound kind of like Unopened Letter to the World by the Ataris. It's not enough to say that the songs sound identical, but there's a two second moment or so that does make me think of the Ataris song.
-As cool as it is that the album has nothing but new songs, I think it would've been cool if they had included a more polished version of a song or two from their demo. Since Twelve Years is only ten tracks long (and runs for 36 minutes) they easily could have fit at least an updated version of Chromatic Living onto the track list somewhere. If I have any major complaints, that's what's wrong with this album.
-I wrote a better review of this album for DyingScene. Once it gets published, I'll provide a link to it.

As promised, the alternate review of the album that I wrote for DyingScene is now up and can be read here.

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