Review of: “Jar” by Daylight
For fans of: Nirvana, Title Fight, Basement, and Hum
Rating: 3.7 out of 5
In the modern age of music, nothing seems more appealing to the masses than a magical force known as “nostalgia.” Vinyl records are now far more popular than ever, bands that have been inactive for decades are randomly reforming and releasing new music, and even boy bands are making a comeback thanks to the United Kingdom’s infamous “One Direction.”
People are left wondering, “Is it the ‘90s all over again?” The answer is, “Yeah, pretty much.”
Daylight is a very interesting band from Doylestown, Pa., that could be considered a poster-child for “‘90s throwback music.” They originally formed in 2009 as a pop punk band.
Their first official release, “Sinking,” was a fun record with a very melodic, poppy, optimistic, and catchy sound. With each release after “Sinking,” the band’s sound seemed to aggressively lose its optimism and tread into darker territory. Similar to other pop punk acts such as Title Fight or Basement, Daylight slowly transformed into a grunge band.
Flash forward to 2013. Daylight has just released their first official full-length LP, simply titled “Jar.” The album was released through Run For Cover Records.
From the moment the opening track, “Sponge,” begins, it becomes clear that “Jar” is the record that all of Daylight’s previous efforts were building up to. The subtle transition from pop punk to alternative/grunge is now complete, and there’s even some ‘90s-era emo sprinkled in.
Up until now, all of Daylight’s releases have been five songs or less. While this record may not have many instant gems, such as “Damp” and “Hungry at a Funeral” off their “The Difference In Good and Bad Dreams” 7-inch released last year, it manages to keep the listener’s full attention from start to finish.
The shared guitar-work and vocal duties between Taylor Madison and Jake Clarke truly shine throughout “Jar.” While the vocals may seem different than past releases, they have never been more passionate. Songs such as “Crawl” and “Knew” keep listeners’ attention by keeping things fast and fun and are spread perfectly throughout the record. The new record also contains a slow, beautiful, clean ballad titled “A Hole in the Ground,” which will please fans of their previous 7-inch.
The album concludes with the album’s single “In On It,” which leads into the five-minute closer “Around the Rail.”
“In On It” stands out as the catchiest song on the record.It delivers a vibe that is meant to be a “tip-of-the-hat” to alternative grunge and seems barren of the elements of their older work. The catchy hooks and upbeat take on the alternative grunge genre will make listeners think of post-grunge bands such as Puddle of Mudd. While this may sound like a bad thing, Daylight does it right.
“Around the Rail” serves as the perfect album closer, with a long buildup and intense ending. Overall, “Jar” has a perfect opener, a perfect closer, and nothing but buildup in between to keep the listener interested in what’s next.
In conclusion, although it may seem trendy and almost expected for modern-day pop punk bands to experiment with nostalgic sounds, as I’ve said before: Daylight does it right.
From start to finish, “Jar” feels like a roller coaster ride back to the early ’90s, when Nirvana rose to popularity. While it may not be the band’s strongest release to date, it holds its own on every track.
“Jar” has already been released digitally. Physical copies will hit stores on April 30. Check out the stream of “Jar” on Daylight’s bandcamp page.