Daytrader – Twelve Years
Record Label: Rise Records
Release Date: May 7th, 2012
I’ve made a lot of jokes and comments about Rise Records being a label that specializes in generic post-hardcore/metalcore bands, and for a long time, it was true, but now it’s not. Well, to a degree, it still sort of is, but most kids who listen to generic metalcore/post-hardcore bands aren’t going to know that Rise Records have signed a lot of pop-punk/punk bands, such as The Early November, Further Seems Forever, Man Overboard, A Loss for Words, Sharks, and The Bouncing Souls, just to name a few. When I say “most kids,” I mean kids who only listen to that kind of stuff, and won’t really give anything else a chance. We all know people like this, but that’s another story for another day. My point is, Daytrader is a band on Rise Records that kind of left as soon as they came, meaning that the band broke up in late 2012 for rather unknown reasons. Regardless of the reasons, it’s a shame they broke up, but I can’t bring them back, so ultimately, all that I can do is just enjoy the music they made before they broke up. They did manage to release a full-length record before they break, however, entitled Twelve Years. So, how is it? Well, I have mixed feelings on it. No, it’s not a bad record at all, but it’s just as lacking as it is impressive. This is why I said it’s a shame they broke up, mainly because with the right improvements, they could’ve made one heck of a record that really shook the pop-punk/emo scene to its core, or in other words, that people really talked about. While Twelve Years is a very solid effort, it’s lacking something. What is that thing it’s lacking? It’s not heart or meaning, because there’s plenty of it here, but it’s really just a lack of a variety. The first third of the record is really great and holds up quite nicely, but then, after that, it begins to grow rather stale. It’s good, but not completely fresh. There are a few gems within the rest of the record, but they’re few and far between. As a whole, the record is great, but it just blends together after awhile, which is my only gripe with it, really. Aside from that, let’s not spend twelve years talking about this record, and let’s just dive into it, shall we?
The record starts with “Deadfriends,” and it begins with vocalist Tym (actually he uses his first name, for certain reasons, so he’s basically the Chewbacca the pop-punk) softly singing over a very quiet guitar riff, and then picks up around the twenty-second mark. This song really sets the stage for the whole album – very laid-back emo/pop-punk. Lyrically, Tym is a wonderful writer and his lyrics are my favorite part of the record, and they don’t disappoint whatsoever. Next track “If You Need It” is the second song that I ever heard by them and I absolutely loved it upon first listen; this is also a very much more “pop-punk” track, too, which does demonstrate a different side for the band. The songs on this record are either very slow and mellow or more “pop-punk,” but while there is some variety, it does get stale after awhile. Third song, “Firebreather” is the first song that I ever actually heard and the first single from the record, and I was definitely floored. This is another rather aggressive song, but not too different from the previous track. Fourth track “Skin & Bones” is another laid-back indie/emo track, and it really works here. It works because it’s really mellow.
You know when I said the record starts to go a bit stale after awhile? Well, it’s certainly not after fourth track “Skin & Bones,” because fifth track “Lost Between the Coasts” has a very infectious chorus, which a few songs on here really do. However, the second half of the record really slips because the songs tend to just bleed together and become rather unmemorable. Not generic, but because they blend together, I’m not sure which song is which, really. The only other song that really sticks out to me in the second half of the record is seventh track “Struggle With Me.” That’s a song about a guy who really cares about someone, and I assume it’s about a significant other, and it’s just about how nothing great comes easy, so they have to struggle together to make things perfect. It’s fantastic. Sadly, though, the next couple songs are rather bland and aside from interesting lyrics, don’t really do much for me, really. The one upside to this record is that, despite the tracks that are rather lackluster (yet still enjoyable, to some degree), it’s only 37 minutes, so it’s a very apt length. It’s not real short, but not really long, either. It’s exactly the length that this kind of record should be. Eighth track “Heard It In a Song” is a very somber acoustic track with even some violins added into it to make the somberness even more effective. It’s a great track, but not my favorite. Last track, “Letters to a Former Lover,” is a very enjoyable track as well. It ends the album on a very optimistic note, with Tym telling the listeners, “If you hear this song some time from now / I hope it finds you well.” It really ends the record rather positively, and it definitely leaves me with a good taste in my mouth. This is a record that I definitely find myself going back to time and time again, but it sucks that they broke up, because I know this band could’ve easily made a great record. Don’t get me wrong, this record is great, but it’s lacking in a few places. Mainly within its variety, but it also lacks that “oomph,” to make them a force to be reckoned in pop-punk/emo. Regardless, though, while a few songs fall flat, the rest of the record holds up very nicely, and it’s very enjoyable.