Daylight - Jar
Record Label: Run For Cover
Release Date: April 30, 2013
It’s tough sometimes to outgrow your past. Something you did as a teenager or even as a child can be easy enough to move on from as an individual, but hearing others talk about it is another issue in itself. It seems like a fairly reasonable comparison to the path alt-rockers Daylight have taken. While fans sure like their Sinking EP, Daylight has seemingly moved on from it musically – a release roughly four years old at this point. These days, the guys are playing alternative rock that runs a parallel to melodic rock and grunge that spouted up almost two decades ago. And while a hint of channeling holds their newest LP Jar back from a total realization of potential for the band, there is something particularly moving and remarkable about these twelve songs that can exist to chalking up something quite special – both for Daylight and the listener.
Revivalism thoughts aside, Jar comes hard with a one-two punch of memorable, gritty melodies and a rhythmic control that anchors said melodies with steadfast confidence in the wake of distortion-soaked guitars and grunge-spirited vocals. Opener “Sponge” gets right to the point in that fact, blooming a gripping riff into your ears while keeping the energy up with a mixture of slightly airy vocals and bursting guitars. It’s a mid-tempo punch towards setting a bar to where this band has decided to go as musicians following their previous work being much more rooted in the indie-rock realm. “Outside of Me” picks up on the trail with a hit of Foo Fighters’ swagger in the mix, aching to be given attention through punching riffs and a fun, but edgy melodic underbelly to boot.
Lyrically, Jar seethes with a sense of loss and self-reflection that melds quite well with the tonal range of this record. For example, “No One’s Deserving” is quite jarring in the angle of self-depreciation as the song almost bounces with a pep of crunchy guitars and a sense of strange optimism. It isn’t par for the course – take “Youngest Daughter” for a different side of the range – but the refusal to stick to a gloom and doom timbre throughout keeps the textual part of this album very much interesting as the album plays out in different ways.
But as we sample Jar in all its goodness – Daylight does this look very well for it being an LP focusing on a pretty large shift in the band’s approach to a particular sonic output – it is easy enough to get lost in nostalgia to forget that the particular overfamiliarity to this sound may compensate for a bit of flatness at times in the creativity this album has musically. I’m more than willing to give the band their due for tracks that really bring this sound to the peak of its potential, but at times Jar just doesn’t feel like more than a homage than anything else. As far as the album's more grungy moments are concerned, the stripped down portion of “Sheltered” and practically the whole of “In On It” make for a harkening of Nirvana and the like through very much parlayed vocals sure to be compared to a one Kurt Cobain. But the overlying veil of the band’s sound here isn’t necessarily a total aping of the genre as much as it is a direct influence of said styling – whether it be through adapting tones or songwriting to fit a much more mature and focused effort in the wake of a kind of grunge revival via a small handful of bands.
Whether you grew up through part of the existence of grunge in the ‘90s or you’re simply just digging for something a bit akin to Balance and Composure at times, Daylight’s effort is satisfying to both ends in a way that you don’t need to be familiar with their past to enjoy it. Jar is blended together just well enough though that its familiarity and emotional leanings are sure to get your attention as they help usher in a revisiting of a rather storied sound.
This review is a user submitted review from Jason Gardner. You can see all of Jason Gardner's submitted reviews here.
I love this album. Whether its original or not seems to subside the fact that its exceptionally well done for what it is trying to do. I submitted my own review a while ago, but it doesnt seem that its going to come out. Glad this one did.
both on RFC, both releasing 90s throwback albums in the same vibe. if daylights vocalist sang higher it would be even more similar.
I know a lot of people hear that, but I don't so much.
Not sure how to describe this well, but here goes. Musically, Basement seem more complex in their songwriting and have a lot of random stuff going on including minor and disonant notes (whereas Daylight seems to stick a more straightforward, simple 3 and 4-chord structure in each song). The guitar tones seem more distinct on Daylight's record and the drums have a ton of power, the singer/vocal overlays as Jason put it has a Nirvana sound to it, and they tend to do these hummable "diddies" with their vocal melodies that get stuck in your head (listen to the beginning of "Sheltered" or the chorus of "Knew").