There seems to be a recent surge of what I would classify as melodic rock. And I like it. Sometimes these bands have a punk edge to them, like Relient K and possibly Mae. Sometimes they don’t at all, like Copeland. This Day & Age is unabashed melodic rock, but the band’s edge is more rock than punk—like Copeland mashed together with label mates Lovedrug. It’s emo for sure, but it’s also alternative, pop and relentlessly addictive. The good thing is, it’s not addictive from just that one- or two-line part of that one song you love; the whole sound of the band is addictive.
With production by Ed Rose (The Get Up Kids, Motion City Soundtrack, Emery), This Day & Age makes an impressive label debut. The album, originally released in September, is being re-released in late February with more marketing behind it (with ads in magazines like Alternative Press) and a video for the first single, “Slideshow.” I find it annoying when bands/labels do this, but in TDA’s case, it’s probably not a bad idea. The buzz about the band is spreading and the single is quite teen-friendly: “If this were high school / or just homecoming / we’d dance all night.”
Frontman Jeff Martin’s voice is always intriguing and penetrating, never whiny—an easy trap to fall into with melodic rock/emo. Every track contains nice melodies that don’t rely entirely on vocal harmonies, but rather the back and forth between dirty and surging guitars, always resting comfortably next to the undulating piano. Now and then TDA makes use of electronic beats instead of drums, and usually to their advantage, such as on “Second Place Victory.” Most of this track is exclusively vocals, piano and a looped beat with a recurring refrain: “Let’s show them how to live / accept the pain / always forgive…” Lyrics like these are refreshing; it’s nice to hear a band that can talk about painful issues and emotions in a positive light. And usually it doesn’t sound too cheesy.
The only track that began to grate on me a bit was “Hourglass.” I thought Martin was singing the line “Weeeee used to beeeeee friends / but we found our way.” This got on my nerves, until I realized he was saying, “Weeeee used to beeeee afraid.” Much better, but still a little annoying—one-syllable words weren’t meant to be stretched out that long.
One of the only obstacles this band has to overcome is separating itself a bit from Copeland. TDA isn’t a Copeland knock-off, but there are some striking similarities in the vocals and piano. But hey, I wouldn’t complain if more bands sounded like this.
(One Eleven Records)