Day At The Fair
The Rocking Chair Years



by lunchforthesky USER (41 Reviews)
February 10th, 2007 | 3 replies

Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Yet another pop punk clone playing the same songs everyone has heard many times before, essentially the album The Starting Line would make if they were devoid of any talent.

Over the years Drive Thru Records has produced some of the best pop punk bands there have ever been. While the label has often been criticised for “Sugar Coating” their bands with flawless production and being simply too mainstream for some peoples taste they have without doubt dominated pop punk in the 21st century. Yet in recent years the label has done everything they could to broaden its horizons and branch out whilst maintaining what makes a band Drive Thru material. Day At The Fair actually is comprised partially of ex-Drive Thru employees so I guess the label can be forgiven for letting one band slip through the net especially when blinded by their initial proximity to the band. Quite simply signing Day At The Fair is a great step backward for the label and I’m at a loss to understand what they really saw in the band. Signed at a similar time as Day At The Fair, Socratic are everything the label should be pursuing, a band with style, originality and at their heart a pop sound. I guess Day At the Fair have the pop sensibilities but it’s honestly one of the most basic pop punk albums I’ve heard for some time.

Following the most common trend within pop punk, Day At The Fair attempt to combine the traditional drive thru sound with an emotional feel, in other words they almost plagiarise The Starting Line’s latest album, Based On A True Story. Not only that but the album really feels all over the place giving the impression the band hasn’t decided quite where there sound is going to lie. Now I'm all for diversity but a good album is not merely a collection of singles but a cohesive unit which flows and has songs which play off and compliment each other. At times the bands borrows from The Alkaline Trio, take Erasing Wilkies and The Blame Anxiety where as on other occasions like Eastern Homes, Western Hearts and Remembering Britt, as previously mentioned, they sound much like The Starting Line. Instrumentally The Rocking Chair Years breaks little from the tired medley of power chords, root notes and drumming the does nothing other than keep time. I know that those things are a staple of pop punk and are the foundations of the genre but surely some independent thought or even a riff wouldn’t go a miss. At this point in the review it shouldn’t take a degree in Quantum Physics to guess the main lyrical focus, yes it’s the usual “She left me all alone” affair, take Eastern Homes, Western Hearts which features the hook of, “Cause this is for dreaming, This is for leaving, This is you picking up the pieces when I'm gone, This is to drinking, This is to living, This is to packing up my *** and moving on, I'm moving on.” In a genre swimming with bands with creativity, bands like Fall Out Boy, Taking Back Sunday and The Early November, Day At The Fair stand little chance of wrangling the aforementioned bands from their elevated status within the genre.

Their would have been a time when I would of quite enjoyed this I’m sure, but tastes mature and Day At The Fair do little new within a crowded scene. Like a lot of vocalists Chris Barker can’t really sing but he maintains a tune well enough, although I suspect this is artificially aided. Additionally even though his singing is as whiny as they come he is not the bands main problem but rather an afterthought in a sea of deep rooted issues. Occasionally The Rocking Chair Years does deliver, with Coda and Eastern Homes, Western Hearts you have the pinnacle of what a band this generic can really achieve and where as Hit The Lights have nailed the art of writing simple but likable songs Day At The Fair are for the most part way off the mark.

Recommended Songs
Eastern Homes, Western Hearts
Remembering Britt

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user ratings (5)

Comments:Add a Comment 
The Jungler
February 10th 2007


I'm not big on Drive Thru either. If I ever do decide to give them a fair chance and listen to a whole CD, I imagine Day At The Fair will take a back seat to either The Starting Line or Finch.
Good job on the review. Always nice to see a forums guy come into the reviewing fold.

February 18th 2007


Album Rating: 3.5

good fun band albiet generic and simple as many bands in the genre are

July 2nd 2013


Album Rating: 4.0

fucking underrated band

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