DEVOUR THE DAY’S sophomore record S.O.A.R. (Razor & Tie) was just released and while it’s definitely the same band I got into with Time & Pressure, there are also some differences, albeit pleasant ones. There is more use of programming and sequencing than last time, but that only adds to the ambience of the songs. Also, the tunes may be a touch more on the melodic side this time, but some of them are really, really dark. I am always instantly attracted to this sort of thing, so score one for the boys there. And that’s not to say that the band can’t throw down and rock, because they certainly can and do!
Case in point: “Fake It to Make It”, one of the heaviest and fastest numbers on the disc that also employs some screaming. First single “Lightning In the Sky” , co-written by VOLBEAT’S Rob Caggiano has an interesting build-up before it hits the payoff, and there’s a reason it’s climbing the Active Rock chart right now. Put simply, it’s a fucking great song! But my once and always favorite on this disc is “Something Real”. Fuck me, I can’t stop playing this one, try as I might. The groove is super-sick, the guitar tone will melt your clothes off, and you might wake up on the side of a highway covered in chocolate sprinkles and wearing nothing but a jockstrap when this one gets through with you.
Title track “S.O.AR.” stands for Suffer Overcome And Recover and it’s a pretty powerful message. Singer/guitarist Blake Allison conveys all the emotion and angst that I’m sure a lot of us go through on a daily basis, and it really makes a statement. And as soon as you soak that one in, here comes “Step Aside”, Allison and fellow guitarist David Hoffman laying down a wall-to-wall carpet of fuzzy, dirty groove to complement bassist Joey Chicago and drummer Ronnie Farris’ thick and rich rhythms. This is one of those moments where the group is totally locked in and playing off of one another to great effect.
Another album standout from the very first listen was “Heaven”. Making good use of the programming to enhance the mood this one is downright infectious and you might need your shots after. A change of pace comes with “Quicksand”. This is one of those dark numbers I was telling you about. The same can be said for “The Bottom” as well. Sure, it’s got a catchiness to it, but it’s certainly not all wine and roses. “Golden City’ was a head-scratcher at first because I had no idea where it was going. Then that chorus kicks in and I was all, “FUCK YEAH!!” Closer “Save Yourself” is another song that many of you will be repeating a lot, like I’ve been doing for a week now.
There is absolutely no sign of a sophomore slump with DEVOUR THE DAY. Quite the opposite, actually. S.O.A.R. is not only as good as the debut, it leaves it squarely in the rearview mirror. The songwriting is even stronger, and the hooks just won’t go away. This is what a real rock album sounds like in 2016 and I strongly urge each and every one of you to get on the DtD train immediately, if not sooner. Take it from someone who’s seen them live…they are the real deal. Don’t be late to this party, people!
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Heaven”, “S.O.A.R.”, “Step Aside”, “Something Real”, “Golden City”, “Save Yourself”