On their new self-titled album, local rockers Chasing Daylight show a definite knack for the kind of melodies that worm their way into your ear and get stuck in your head.
The eight tracks range from spacey alternative compositions to straight up commercial rockers, and almost every one of them has some incredibly catchy element that will stick with you after the first listen. The sounds will conjure images of some of the best 1990s alternative rockers, like Soul Asylum and Collective Soul, but there's a definite modern vibe to what the band does, too.
The range of Chasing Daylight — which performs in several configurations as a full five-piece, a three piece and a solo acoustic act with singer Brandon Waters — is shown on two of my favorite songs. "Only a Number," possibly the best track on the record, is a well-produced rocker that shows the band's harder side. There's a tough main guitar riff that's balanced out by some slinky, shiny alternative licks loaded with cool echo and delay effects, and guitarist Chris McBroom gets his shred on a little in the solo. It's a layered and polished effort that's the equal of pretty much any song on current rock radio these days and better than many of them.
On the other end is the acoustic track "Wasting Time," which closes the record. It's a simple, organic tune that sounds like it was written and recorded off the cuff. The slapping guitar reminds me a little of Extreme's "More Than Words," but Waters' vocals and the bongos — I'm assuming played by drummer J-Frey — give it a little more grit and soul. In its simplicity, it works as well as the more produced numbers earlier in the record.
The rollicking "Love is Blind" is another high point, pulling in a few classic rock elements. Opening track "Riptide" again shows that layered, hard rocking feel with more of that cool guitar sound that becomes sort of a signature of this record. It returns on "Can't Get Enough," which has one of the biggest hooks on the record with its memorable and addictive verse melody. "The Devil and the Dashboard" features a great, almost metallic opening guitar lick, and the slinky riff of "Misery" reaches back into that '90s alternative scene.
Overall, Chasing Daylight's first record is a well-produced and well put-together collection of songs that are definitely rock radio ready, but also have enough of an alternative vibe to set them apart from the crowd. Written by Fred Phillips The News Star-Monroe, La
#1. Sevendust - Cold Day Memory (listen and you will see why) #2. Drake - Thank Me Later (I know he was on Degrassi but i don't watch teen nick so I don't care) #3. The Black Keys - Brothers (if Attack and Release came out this year it would be #1) #4. Deftones - Diamond Eyes (the most bipolar record of the year) #5. Lil' Wayne - I am not a Human (this dude throws down even from prison)