Days N Daze - Crustfall (Cover Artwork)

Days N Daze

Crustfall (2017)

Sweater Weather Records/All We

One of the most appealing characteristics about punk rock is that pretty much anyone can start a band. And it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks as long as you have a good time doing it. But what do you do if you can’t buy the equipment? You do what Days N Daze did. Get an acoustic guitar and a trumpet and sing your heart out. Need percussion? Add a washboard. What about the bottom end? Play a gutbucket. What a great idea for a band.

With a knack for melody and great songwriting, the group maintains a DIY punk ethic that contributes greatly to the overall feel of their most recent album Crustfall. The songs range in topics from politics and a disdain for authority to issues dealing with mental illness and addiction. While the album has somewhat of an overall dark feel, there is some positive advice scattered throughout the lyrics. In various songs, the band warns the listener not to dwell on the past and to focus on living life.

The band is often classified as folk-punk because of the instruments they use, but it is somewhat difficult to pigeon-hole the group. One of my favorite parts about Days N Daze is that they use their vocals as an instrument and sing in various styles. They are clearly influenced by bands like Leftover Crack (Scott Sturgeon wrote and sings a verse on the album), which comes out in songs like “Note Idol” where vocalists Jesse Sendejas and Whitney Flynn howl just like Sturg. Sometimes they sing together, which is deceivingly difficult (“Wholesale Failure” & “Crustfall”) and sometimes they alternate verses (“Self -Loathing” & “Little Blue Pills Pt. 4”). Jesse sings lead on some some tracks (“Saturday Night Palsy”), while Whitney sings lead on others (“Anchor”). This is worth noting because there are 16 songs on the album, which can become tedious, but that’s not the case here, primarily because of the variance in vocal arrangements. There is anger in their singing, but there is also beauty.

Though the instrumentation is not typical, this should not scare away the punks. Meagan Melocon’s washboard and Geoff Bell’s gutbucket add a tenacious feel to the album. Often times, it sounds like there are drums on the tracks, but it is just the the scrapes and rattles of the washboard, as well as the chicka-chicka sounds opposing the upstrokes of the guitar. Overall, there are songs on here for everyone and this is a well-written album with a fair share of melody and aggression.