Day Wave - The Days We Had

Day Wave
The Days We Had

The thing you notice first about Day Wave is just how dialed in the formula is. A gentle guitar or bass build, que the drums and then some "oohhs" or "aahhs" to really set the stage. This happens on almost every song, but while you would expect it to be grating, because the songs are so well put together it actually works. The synthy pop is on full display on this record with the surging syths almost taking over for the big guitar riffs. The more trippy songs like "Bloom" have this really big expansive feel to them, but when it is paired with a sythpop type sound it really does soar. There are strong scents of LCD Soundsystem or Real Estate here with the attention paid to all the small details. The songs without lyrics actually give you a slight shoegaze vibe almost lulling you into that same kind of trance. Day Wave is the exclusive project of Jackson Phillips where He has total control of the music they create and release. This gives his music and The Days We Had a singular vision, even if that vision is not exactly what you always want. It really does gives the album this real singular feel as each track flows into the next. The only problem is you get a bunch of songs that sound so similar that nothing jumps out from the pack.

This record does feel like it should be Day Wave's big break, but it lacks those real moments of surprise that would set it apart. You keep waiting for the builds to lead you somewhere special but they often go underused. There is nothing wrong with a song that sounds fine but there is also nothing that makes you want to keep coming back to it. "Wasting Time" is a great example of this because at over four minutes it should really take you somewhere. The build is simply epic, but it never delivers on the promise and it just keeps going on and on at a higher than average level. The later tracks are where the similar sound starts to really wear thin and a song like "Disguise" which is already a crawl drags the album to an almost glacial pace. You can sense so much talent, and so many missed opportunities on this record that you really want to hear Day Wave at it's best. The Days We Had is just not it.

6.0 out of 10


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