Daytrader – Last Days of Rome
Record Label: Run for Cover Records
Release Date: January 18, 2011
Last Days of Rome will be a refreshing release for a lot of people. Daytrader might be made up of (former) members of Crime In Stereo, Latterman, The Motorcycle Industry, Bridge and Tunnel and Divider, but they’re all about early 2000’s emo here, paying tribute to a time when music had more integrity, honesty, and all that stuff people harp about these days. And I’ll come clean: It’s about time a band revived a style from the earlier half of the decade other than mundane pop-punk with a whopping total of three distinct chord progressions per album (not going to name any names here, but I’m looking at you, New Jersey scene). Examined against the present musical climate, Last Days of Rome is independent, raw and, quite frankly, reinvigorating.
The band nails the emo sound on the album, and with sweeping ardor too. In some songs, wildly yearning, dissonant melodies suggest Further Seems Forever (“Living,” “Last Days of Rome” and “Death Means Nothing to Men Like Me”). In others, pummeling riffs bring to mind Blueprints for the Black Market-era Anberlin (“Kill My Compass”). “Cause I’m the wraith holding the scythe at my own neck,” declares “Death Means Nothing to Men Like Me.” Sounds like they have graphic T-ready lyrics perfected as well.
Now be careful not to get me wrong here – I’m not saying the band has any shortage of originality, because the opposite is true. Every song drops with energy that’s wholly individual. Case in point: the standout number “Grey-Colored Glasses,” which waxes poetic when it describes a storm that destroys everything “from the depths of our young souls to the beaches out at Montauk.” Musically, it sounds like Saves the Day – but then again, nothing by Saves the Day has ever made me shiver.
Daytrader are helping music in 2011 start out right. They’ve bucked the trends in the interest of bona fide tunes (emo may have been trendy a decade ago, but that’s definitely not the case today), and everyone would do well to follow suit. It’s not too late to make that a New Year’s resolution, not when it comes to music. But for Daytrader, it’s sounding a lot less like the last days of Rome (“In the last days of Rome all I see is badlands,” says the title track) and a lot more like the beginning of an entertaining stint.
I get the feeling that the whole idea of the current music scene being filled with meaningless pop garbage is going to be fading away soon. Over the past year or two, band after band (and label after label) has been popping up with material that reminds people of the "good old days." Even though I have seen bands try to ride the coattails of the successful bands of this ilk, knockoffs of a great band are more welcome than knockoffs of a shitty band.