Sometimes a band will go through several changes in their sound before finally settling on one that suits them. Such is the case with the Doylestown, PA-based band, Daylight. Daylight has released three EPs, each with a completely different sound than the previous. Starting with a melodic hardcore sound, they transitioned into a hardcore-ish genre before finally settling on a punk/grunge niche that they have carried over to their debut album Jar, which comes out April 30 on Run For Cover Records.
As soon as the first track, "Sponge," began, I knew I was about to be thrown straight into the 90s grunge scene. The pounding drums and growling guitar riffs took me back to the days of my youth spent listening to Alice In Chains, Smashing Pumpkins and Nirvana. To top the grunge trifecta off, the angsty vocals done on Jar strongly remind me of Nirvana's vocalist, Kurt Cobain. The haunting chorus on "Sponge" is the perfect intro to let you know what you are about to get into.
One thing that has remained a constant with Daylight are the contents of the song's lyrics. From release to release, Daylight has stayed with the sad, mellow song lyrics that deal with suicide, depression and loneliness. This could be the reason why grunge seemed to call to them and be the appropiate sound for them to settle on. This is fairly obvious with the first line in "Sponge" where the vocalist whispers "I left my head at home, buried in the backyard with the dog."
The next few tracks all utilize the same sound and do so beautifully. Each track gets progressively faster than the the previous one, up until track seven. However, the fifth and sixth tracks, "Crawl" and "Last October" respectively, are ones that are worth mentioning. Both of these tracks pick up the pace tremendously and begin to have a more modern rock feel to them. Despite the increase in tempo here, you can still tell that the depressive mood has not left in these songs.
After these two tracks, Jar goes back to the slower speed that was being used towards the beginning of the album. One track that really stands out to me is track ten, "Hole In The Ground." This song ditches the crunch that the others song had in favor for a somber song that emphasizes the vocals. With every word in this song, you can feel the burden of emotion that the vocalist carries with him. "Hole In The Ground" will have you leaning towards your speakers or turning up the volume to catch every word that is being spoken.
This tranquil tempo doesn't last long because the final two tracks quickly pick it back up. "In On It" was released as a single, and despite having listened to it many times, it still amazes me. The main feature of this track is the catchy chorus that will have you singing along in an instant. The final track, "Around The Railing," is a fantastic close to Jar. This track reminds me of Alice In Chain's "Rooster" with the "oooo-ohhhhh"s and "ahhhh"s at the end of the song.
If you're in the mood to be thrown back 20 years, this is an album you need to listen to. Daylight took a chance with a new style and nailed the grungy sound perfectly with Jar, and I hope that they continue to stick to this genre for future releases. This is a debut album that will be talked about for years to come.