Next (Crazy Bastard Records/Crooked Finger Records)
By: Alex Steininger
Raised on Motley Crue, the Beatles, Cheap Trick, and Guns 'n' Roses (to name a few), The Daylights have an incredible knack for writing some of the hardest rocking, invigorating pop songs out there. To call them power-pop would be leaving out their 80's rock enthusiasm, and to call them a hard rock act would be undermining their splendid arsenal of pop. They're just a rock band that writes songs with a little bit of their influences in each one, while making it entirely their own.
"Wasting Time On Planet Earth," the album opener, is a blast of furious rock coupled with a tiny bit of pop. The verses build on the fury that soon strikes when the chorus hits, leaving room for the pop to swim around in. But, when the chorus hits, it's the rock and noise that hits you from behind. Screaming "Blasting through the stratosphere/ You and I are suicide machines/ I'll end up killing you/ Or you'll end up/ End up killing me/ I don't need you anymore," frontman Scott Chaplin's voice accents on the anger and self-destructiveness of the song, while the band churns out some potent rock that will knock you flat on your ass.
The poppy "Ride," complete with a piano that opens the song, demonstrates perfectly the nature of the band: bouncy, infectious pop that sits underneath the loud guitars, heavy bass, and slamming drums. And, the lyrics, which come in after a minute and a half, demonstrate the potent, universal themes that the band struggles with: "Just in case you didn't notice/ I am not the same/ Because every once-in-a-while I get a little bit weird/ I'm afraid of people sometimes/ But I don't know why/ Don't force me to lie/ Don't turn me into something that I hate." Scott's voice is emotional; weary and angry, his voice struggles through the emotions he sings about while he sings about them. You can't help but feel his pain as he tries to overcome it by singing about it.
"Redefine Everything" finds the band dabbling in metal, while making sure their hard-rockin' pop is always at the forefront. Bridging the verses and choruses with the metal, the band rocks through the verses and spits out the loud pop with a sharp chorus that will cut straight to your brain and make you think about what is being said.
The first few times I heard this album I liked it, but it didn't blow me away. It just didn't match up to the band's live show. The energy seemed to be lacking. Though, the more and more I listened to it, the more it grew on me and the more I realized the energy was there. Once I realized the energy was there, nothing was holding the album back. It quickly reminded me why I love this band so much: they can rock and hook you with pop at the same time, without giving in to any one influence. I'll give it an A.