Review Summary: Relentlessly upbeat pop-rock with a progressive edge, a-la Damiera? Sure, why not!
Another Day Late, a now defunct progressive rock act that hailed from the OC, was recently picked as one of AP's artists you need to know about, and for good reason. Even though this is the band's first (and only) release, you would think you were listening to a group of seasoned musicians with at least two albums under their belts. For such a young band, they display a cohesiveness and sense of focus that most bands only achieve after their second or third release.
The music the band produces is sort of a mix of powerpop and progressive rock, with a bit of indie rock flair. The musicianship on the album is great on all fronts. The guitarists pull off a constant stream of tastefully technical riffs and harmony lines, while the bass, which is sadly inaudible, plods along in the background. However, at the times when the bass is more prevalent, its abundantly clear that the guy knows how to lay down some nice grooves. The guitarists also display a penchant for effects pedals. Phase shifers, delays, flangers, octave pedals, and chorus effects are found in many songs, but somehow manage to not seem overused. The vocalist has a pretty high register, which is becoming more and more common these days, but there's just something about his voice that's refreshing to listen to. The drumming is very impressive, ranging from slower beats with interesting hi-hat work, to labyrinthine 7/8 passages, with all sorts of technical fills and interesting cymbal noises in between.
The songs themselves all retain the same upbeat feeling, though there are subtle nuances that vary up the sound nicely. The second song, Greetings From Nowhere, is a great example of how the band retains the same feeling throughout a song while varying it up with slight changes. Jaunty rhythms, wailing vocals, and pleasant guitar work abound here, but midway through the song the mood changes ever so slightly, and the music takes an almost heavy turn. This happens a few times on the album, and it does wonders for spicing up the music. During these sections, the guitars morph out of the techy riffery and into a dense wall of sound, while the drums provide an almost menacing beat, and it makes for a nice contrast with the upbeat feel of the majority of the album. Sadly, the album takes a bit of a dip toward the end with songs like Summer Salvo and Easy Alone. While these aren't bad songs, it just seems like, for the most part, the band didn't put as much effort into the songs as they could.
The only real problems I have with the album involve some of the vocal performances, and the fact that some songs just feel way to long. The vocals are very well thought out and delivered about 90% of the time, but there a few of moments where the vocal delivery becomes very nasaly and almost whiny. Also, the lyrics are very hit and miss. At times, the lyrics are interesting without being overly metaphorical or pretentious, but there are a few points where it seems the lyricist got a little lazy and they become very blunt, in a bad way. There's just something about the way the line "Here it's hard to get a drink. I'll shut my mouth. The silence is most comforting." is delivered that makes it seem out of place and awkward. Scenes From An Airport Bar and Easy Alone, are the longest songs here, both clocking in at over 4 minutes. The songs are decent, but they just don't have enough changes in them to keep them from becoming a little tedious to listen to.
Its a real shame the band decided to call it quits, because they definitely had the potential to turn into a wonderfully enjoyable musical act. The musical and vocal aspects are all tastefully done, and no single instrument ever steals the spotlight from the rest. The band really worked together as a cohesive unit for the most part, and it shows. So if you have six bucks to spare, I strongly suggest you look into purchasing this EP.