Album Review: Daytrader – “Twelve Years”

In January 2011, Daytrader released their debut EP, Last Days of Rome to much critical acclaim. Taking cues from the emo bands of the 90’s and turn of the century, Daytrader had released a short collection of songs that harnessed a powerful sound that had been long since absent in the current scene and, quite frankly, it was a breath of fresh air for many. Now a year and a half, and several drummers, later Daytrader finds themselves releasing their debut album, “Twelve Years,” on Rise Records as a part of their ever-growing diverse roster.

If this album sounds like an emo album from the early aughts, it’s because Daytrader has enlisted producer Mike Sapone, whose credits include the first two Taking Back Sunday albums and more or less the entire Brand New discography. The songs sound bigger and more refined, but just because it’s not as raw sounding as the band’s previous output does not mean that it hits any less hard. The guitars are crisp sounding, and vocalist Tym Nolastname (not his real last name) is a force to be reckoned with. The drums are provided by Derrick Flanigan, the new guy who takes up the mantle after Daytrader’s last few drummers either choked on a mysterious stranger’s vomit (it’s not something you can really dust for, so the guilty party remains unknown) or spontaneously combusted. {Author’s Note: None of that is true. If you don’t get the joke, what’s wrong with you? Go watch Spinal Tap.}

Twelve Years begins with the slow chugging of “Deadfriends” before exploding into a sonic fury that owes just as much to Brand New as it does Sunny Day Real Estate. At first it seems like an odd choice as the starting track, but it couldn’t have been a more perfect selection. “Deadfriends” combines elements of the Last Days of Rome EP with the sounds that the band has developed in the past year, introducing listeners to what should be expected on the rest of the album. While some tracks, such as “If You Need It”, and “Struggle With Me” are a continuation of the familiar territory that the band has walked before, Daytrader finds themselves walking new ground for a good portion of the album.

Lead single “Firebreather” takes the band’s energy and amplifies it to a level that would almost be fitting for an arena anthem, or at the very least, a medium-to-large sized venue. Similarly, “Lost Between the Coasts”, “Silver Graves”, and album closer “Letter to a Former Lover” follow suit in showcasing the band’s ability to extend their emo and punk roots to the fullest extent without completely shifting genres. On these tracks, the band uses their new-found amplified energy to create the types of powerful and emotional songs that have been far and few between from most newcomers in the Long Island emo scene. In the exact opposite manner, the moody “Skin & Bones”, and the mid-tempo “After-Image” find the band slowing down in a manner somewhat reminiscent of early Jimmy Eat World or even the Pink Album, while the acoustic “Heard It In a Song” utilizes strings and acts as a nice cool down from all the high energy songs that precede it.

The songs on Twelve Years are great songs, but one of the things that really makes the album work so well is Daytrader’s ability to make it sound fresh. There are tons of influences that can be picked up, ranging from the Sunny Day Real Estate and Jimmy Eat World to Saves the Day and the Get Up Kids, but Daytrader pulls it off without ever sounding exactly like those bands. They’ve managed to avoid the common practice of sounding too much like their musical forefathers, and by doing so they’ve given themselves a platform to stand on to rise above most other bands in the modern scene. It’s been awhile since an album like Twelve Years has been released, but it’s more than welcome to stay and become the Deja Entendu for a new generation.

4.5/5 Stars

Recommended Tracks:
Struggle With Me
Letter to a Former Lover

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