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Daybreaker - The Northbound Trains EP Album Cover

Daybreaker - The Northbound Trains EP

Reviewed by
7.3
Daybreaker - The Northbound Trains EP
Release Date: April 5, 2011
Record Label: Pure Noise Records
This review was written by an AP.net staff member.
With the Northbound Trains EP, Boston's Daybreaker blend two fairly adored genres into one mix of intriguing rock and roll. The strongest influence seems to come from The Gaslight Anthem, but Daybreaker plays more like Polar Bear Club than they do Gaslight. At the same time, present on this EP is a sort of acoustic-centric indie/emo sound that comes straight out of the Midwest. I wouldn't press this comparison too much, but at times I hear some Get Up Kids in Daybreaker's sound, if only in flashes, and listeners will relish the fusing of these two styles on this EP.

Opener "Lean On Me" is the best track on the record, as Dan Rose's vocals steal the show away from some easy-to-listen-to musicianship. The first seconds of the song are all listeners will need to hear to want to stay around; an acoustic guitar perfectly eases into soul-ish guitar lines provided by Rose and Jeffrey Aust. By the time Rose soars, "If that fiery morning sky / Turns to storms on our horizons / Then I'll put my faith in hurricanes and heavy rains tonight / And if you want you can lean on me / I'm pushing right back with everything we believe," listeners will be hooked.

"Now Or Never" and "About the Blues" provide The Northbound Trains EP with some bulk in the middle, as the latter track shows the band's Gaslight Anthem influence in its fullest extent. It's a powerful acoustic-based track, and Rose, in Brian Fallon-esque fashion, name-drops Robert Johnson and Elvis. Still, if you can get past the fact that some of Daybreaker's sound is borrowed, the EP will be an enjoyable listen.

That exact fact is what prevents me from thinking too highly of The Northbound Trains EP. Yes, I enjoy Daybreaker's sound, but how much of it is originally just Daybreaker? The band is still a very young one; as was previously mentioned, this is their debut release. To tell the truth, better bands than Daybreaker have started off with worse efforts than this release. At the very least, this band has certainly earned my attention in its future endeavors.

Recommended If You LikeThe Gaslight Anthem, rock and roll-ish yet still kinda indie emo-ish stuff, Polar Bear Club.
Follow Me On TwitterI'm going to write a book this year and the tweets that will result from that may be book-worthy on their own.
Bare Essentials1. Lean On Me
2. Lanterns
3. Now Or Never
4. About the Blues
5. The Way Up North
6. Where I'm Supposed To Be
7. City Lights
Run Time: 27 minutes
Star Rating: 2.5 out of 5 Stars
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Displaying posts 1 - 10 of 10
06:32 AM on 04/18/11
#2
cwhit412
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I think it's a little better than what you said. It's definitely a solid debut.
10:59 AM on 04/18/11
#3
Matthew Tsai
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Still not feeling this haha. I'll post what I wrote from our chat earlier for the sake of discussion:

Yeah I mean there are certain things about them that make me feel like they're too derivative. Like, the way they use the words "father" and "sister" just sounds so awkward in its context, and I feel like that's a signature Gaslight thing. It sounds awkward for Gaslight too, but Brian Fallon manages to pull it off. Then there's the reference to very specific, nostalgic items like "blue suede shoes" and the name-drops in "Robert Johnson" and "Elvis Presley." Not to mention "everything I learned about the blues I learned from you." Those are all very signature Gaslight things imo, and it stands out especially when they write their melodies exactly like Fallon would write them. That's all just for the first song.

I dunno, when all is said and done, the EP gives me the impression that they just went "we'll just emulate whichever band is successful out there right now," decided on Gaslight, and then wrote an album around that. It's not bad, I just feel like it's extremely mediocre. That, and I can't stand the lyrics.
01:35 PM on 04/18/11
#4
Jaytothesyg
The Greatest Generation
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PBC and Gaslight sounds like a good mix. Will check out
04:01 PM on 04/18/11
#5
Charles Vincent
The American Scene
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A lot better than this review makes it out to be. Definitely worth a listen, the vinyl packaging is gorgeous too.
04:38 AM on 04/19/11
#6
CheckeredFloors
nah
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Will investigate further.
03:26 PM on 04/19/11
#7
Jason Tate
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Favorite EP I've heard this year so far. Gaslight don't own the "sound" any more than Springsteen does. Haha, I don't think there's anything wrong with bands going back to straight forward rock and roll.
04:50 PM on 04/19/11
#8
Thomas Nassiff
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Favorite EP I've heard this year so far. Gaslight don't own the "sound" any more than Springsteen does. Haha, I don't think there's anything wrong with bands going back to straight forward rock and roll.
I didn't really mean it to knock them down too much. Thing is, I hear a lot of Gaslight in this but not much Springsteen. Same way as there isn't as much Springsteen in American Slang as there is The 59 Sound. I still really like what they had to offer on here and it should be interesting to watch as they develop their sound.
07:34 PM on 04/19/11
#9
Charles Vincent
The American Scene
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Favorite EP I've heard this year so far. Gaslight don't own the "sound" any more than Springsteen does. Haha, I don't think there's anything wrong with bands going back to straight forward rock and roll.
I can't agree with this more. Im a big Bruce fan and Gaslight, I have no problem with Daybreaker playing the same vein of music. Just because they have a similar sound doesn't mean they didn't put significant effort into their writing process. If we said everything was unoriginal because it could be compared to something else then what would be original?

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