Review Summary: Pop punk has never been so depressing.
While many of their punk contemporaries continue to emphasize positivity in their music, PA-based Daylight, instead take a different approach. Their melodic hardcore/emo sound is reminiscent of 90s bands such as Small Brown Bike and Texas is the Reason, but amplifies the aspects of sorrow and misery to a point that the listener cannot help but feel moved. Ironically, Taylor Madison, the guitarist and vocalist for Daylight, was formerly the front man for the pop punk band Bangarang! (whose main intent was to play fun, upbeat music).
Daylight’s second official EP, Dispirit
, contains three songs, each dealing with self-loathing, depression, and hopelessness, none of which seem to offer a solution to misery. In the first track, Selfish
, we hear Taylor explain his internal struggle with suicidal thoughts, saying ”The only reason I’m still alive, I can’t stand to see my mother cry”
. For the most part, the lyrics are brutally honest and gripping, but can sometimes be a bit repetitive and general.
The three songs contain powerfully tense, yet melodic guitar leads that provide nice transitions and background noise for the vocals and heavily distorted rhythm guitar. Youth No More
is a track that exemplifies this, while the lyrics describe the difficult end of adolescence. This is a standout track on the EP, and though not drastically different than the others musically or lyrically, it incredibly easy to relate to and honest. Something about hearing a grown man explain how he has “cried himself to sleep” is powerfully haunting.
The final track, Two of a Kind
, displays more traditional, clean pop punk vocals, and though the melody is simplistic, it is catchy and works well. The EP comes to a close as Taylor sings ”Oh, I ***ing hate myself, and I hate you too, and I hope you’re well aware”
, and an acoustic guitar plays off the band for the final two minutes. If Daylight could part ways with typical lyrics such as these yet remain consistent with their songwriting and emotion, then their upcoming full length will be one of 2012's best records. While they may be "youth no more", Daylight is still a young band with plenty of potential to progress.