The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

    Daybreakdown treads water on safe sophomore release

    In a nutshell, there are three types of local bands in Mississippi: (1) the really horrible, talentless laughing stocks you can find covering Nickelback’s discography every Friday night at your local dead-end dive, (2) the occasional local heroes that actually go somewhere and make a true contribution to a genre and (3) the pleasant, but hardly head-turning, conventional lineups simply hoping they can put together a song radio-friendly enough to catapult them into the mainstream.Oxford-based group Daybreakdown seems to be a perfect fit in the latter category. Their sophomore album “Shine Like Rust” isn’t bad at all, but it’s barely worth more than a handful of listens and doesn’t hold together enough to give them a significant lift.
    It’s clear that these guys know how to play their instruments well enough, but the generic arrangements and sometimes borderline-poor songwriting keep them from getting this record off the ground. Most of the songs seem to merely tread water.
    The opening “Rearview” gets things off to a painfully average start. A generic slide guitar intro hardly captures any intensity, and Reid Stone’s vocals fail to command a close listen. The song quickly falls flat and becomes nothing more than easy-going background bar music.
    The pace continues to drag on in “Shotgun.” As with the opener, there is nothing distinguishable or memorable about this song. A little wah-wah pedal here, some decent, subtle keyboard work from Patrick McClary there, and some non-sensical lyrics about a wildflower riding on a hurricane and how “every day is filled with broken things.” Thanks for the heads-up, dudes.
    Fortunately, things pick up a bit on “Sometimes.” There’s some understated, yet tasteful rhythym work from drummer Tyler Rayburn. McClary continues to shine, this time with some impressive piano lines. The background female vocalist does OK when harmonizing with Stone, but again, nothing special. Still, this song stands out as being one of the few on the album that is better than average.
    “Candidate” continues to help move the album forward ever so slightly. The instrumentation is the highlight here, as Rayburn stays away from his snare, instead keeping time during much of the song by alternating between tom-toms. However, Stone is once again trying too hard to sound acceessible. It doesn’t work all that well.
    Although the group does a fair job of achieving a nice build-up on “One Track,” there’s no energy here. It sounds like each part was rehearsed over and over until the members were no longer capable of capturing any sort of emotion, instead making damn sure that they recorded their parts the same exact way they’d played them a million times before. Perhaps a little more emphasis on giving their songs personality and a little less emphasis on technical perfection could help significantly.
    The experience takes a nosedive with “Keeping Time.” Credit Eric Carlton for penning this incredibly compelling ditty. Here’s the first verse: “She writes all her own music/ It don’t take her long/ Dop doo da dop dop doo da/ is her favorite song/ She told me all her secrets/ And I swore I’d never tell/ She knows how I love music and/ she knows how to do it well.”
    Not every song ever written has to be thought-provoking and moving, but come on. What is this ridiculous jibberish?
    I could continue to critique every song on this album, but I’d be repeating myself. Everything here sounds pretty much the same. After awhile, each track begins to run together, and by the time you’ve trudged your way through the remainder of the album, hoping to find that one hook that instantly changes your mind about Daybreakdown, you’re exhausted and unimpressed.
    These guys keep things pretty lukewarm. Most everything here is just OK. In its strongest moments, “Shine Lke Rust” is likeable and pleasant. At its weakest, listening to a song straight through is like pulling teeth.
    Personally, I wouldn’t be opposed to seeing these guys live. They seem like one of those groups that could put on an enjoyable show, but it’s unlikely that I’ll waste my time on listening to this album -ever again.
    There are some talented musicians here, and it’s unfortunate to see them seemingly content with making average music.

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    The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University
    Daybreakdown treads water on safe sophomore release