Dropping Daylight - Brace Yourself
Release Date: June 13, 2006
Record Label: Octone Records
When one sees a label on a CD announcing a band comes recommended by Hawthorne Heights, one’s opinion instantly falls into one category or the other. The first is the die-hard Hawthorne Heights fan who will check the recommendation out because they believe J.T. Woodruff and his fellow members can do no wrong. The other group will instantly dismiss the recommendation based on their distaste for Hawthorne Heights. While I tend to fall into the latter category, putting aside your snarky preconceptions is necessary in the case of Minneapolis’ Dropping Daylight. Led by vocalist/pianist Sebastian Davin, Dropping Daylight features alternating thrashing instrumentals, impassioned vocals, and perfectly accented piano accompaniments. How exactly can a piano peacefully coexist with hard-nosed rock? Just one listen to Dropping Daylight’s Brace Yourself, and the answer will be crystal clear.
“Tell Me” is a pop-derived anthem of the highest order. Smooth yet aggressive with the right balance of the two sets apart it as one of the stronger tracks on Brace Yourself. The title track continues in the same vein, but this is one of the main issues with the album. Everything sounds like one immense jam session with some piano thrown in for good measure. The album rocks fairly spiritedly as a whole, but the lasting power just melts away into the shadows. Punctuated by a squealing intro, “War Song” is the quintessential Dropping Daylight song. Fifty percent power and fifty percent emotion, this song is just as much Seth Davin’s guitar playing as it is Sebastian’s vocals. The band uses gang vocals are to moderate success on “War Song” as well. They are just enough to accent the lead ones and don’t detract from the music, unlike most other bands’ songs. “Blame Me” puts Dropping Daylight’s post-hardcore side on public display as the impassioned vocals trail perfectly into the piano/guitar song. The only problem with this one is sometimes it sounds like a Seether b-side vocally. If they laid off the aggression just a touch, such as in "Apologies" or the sweet "Lucy," they'd be much, much better off.
Brace Yourself is an unyielding debut effort from Dropping Daylight. I was thoroughly impressed with their musical abilities. Sebastian Davin is a superb young vocalist that I can see going places in the future. The band as a whole will appeal more heavily to the radio audience for their faux-heavy sound that really just boils down to piano-influenced post-hardcore, but that is not a bad thing. Brace Yourself is marred only by the lack of diversity between the songs, but I expect no less than a great album from them next time around. For now, sit back and enjoy one of the only unique post-hardcore bands out there.
I saw them at Bamboozle '05. They played at Asbury Lanes. The stage was set up over about 4 lanes and people were bowling to the left and right of them. It was outrageous. Great live band and I love their older stuff
I like your review but I've been listening to this record for 6 weeks and it's still the only cd in my car. I really love it. This band is so underrated and I truly hope they get to the audience that will fall in love with them (aka get them on tour with Jack's Mannequin).