Zen Fuck-Ups - Days of the Week
Release Date: January, 2014
Record Label: Self-released
You know when you listen to an album and you're just like "okay, this is awesome"? Well that thought occurred to me several times through my playthroughs of Days of the Week. If I had to use one adjective to describe it, I would use the word "fun". Days of the Week is a little weird. But in a good way. The bulk of the album is straight up, no bullshit punk rock that is extremely catchy, fun and heartfelt. However, that's not all there is. There's also some pretty weird stuff going on. Not only is the extra stuff kinda weird but it seems entirely unnecessary. Now you're probably thinking that unnecessary = bad. And usually you'd be right. But there's something about the unnecessary details about this album that kind of makes me love it even more. Days of the Week opens with a short intro of city sounds and voices that rise in volume before the track "Hopeless" kicks in. The next five tracks are all solid, catchy tunes. The album focuses largely on a theme of mental illness, and it feels like it's telling some kind of story. The male vocalist screams in a passionate and frantic manner, and is supported by the female vocalist, who's nice voice creates a very appealing dynamic with his. As well as this, she has some moments of frantic screaming too that kick ass.
The seventh track of Days of the Week is a surprise to say the least. Out of nowhere comes this kind of bluesy guitar track. This makes no sense, and it's suddenness should be a negative of the album, but I loved it. It definitely serves to highlight everything the lyrics had been saying up to that point saying, and it features some stellar guitar playing too. The next side of the album is a little different to the first side in that it's a little more drawn out and varied. Towards the end the album definitely loses momentum a bit, but the first few tracks explode from the onset and are catchy as hell. This side of the album seems somewhat more poppy, while still kicking ass. It's like if you gave Green Day some coke and told Billie that evil clowns were coming for him.
The last two tracks on the album are part of those unnecessary details I mentioned earlier. At first listen the last track seems utterly pointless. An instrumental post-rocker that bears no musical resemblance to the fast punk rock heard before it. But when you really notice what this album is about, and pay attention to the story as it unfolds, the last track is actually quite cool. It's kind of epic in a large scale sense and definitely makes the album more fun when listened to a second time. The second-last track has a furious acoustic intro and then explodes into an instrumental punk tune that has lots of voices over it. It's crazy really, and lots of fun, if not a bit creepy. The downside though, is that these last two tracks are definite "skips" on the iPod.
Days of the Week is a fun album. The songs fly by in a blur of frantic and furious pleas against a crazy mind. The instrumentation is tight and the pace only really starts to let up towards the end. I think that if the basic concepts of this album were built open musically, Zen Fuck-Ups could really be on to something. I hope there is some more music soon 'cause I'm kind of hooked on most of these songs. Apart from a slight decrease in momentum towards the end, and a couple of very skippable tracks, Days of the Week is an album of superbly crafted punk rock that really gets you going, singing along and wanting to dance, mosh and scream all at once.
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