Daylight - Demo (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


Demo (2009)


What makes a great demo? For me, it has to contain general consistency with a dash of variety, musical and lyrical potential, and it must leave you feeling unsatisfied -- like you need to hear more. Daylight has done just this.

Five tracks of dual vocal punk rock drenched in sweat and tears, that's about as honest (if not more) as our 16th president. The two vocalists are distinct, one tackling a desperate gruff style while the other is far more melodic and intelligible; together, they create an extremely proficient contrast and dynamic that adjusts with ease to the moods the band throws at you. Daylight also seem to have an incredible grasp on `90s emo and post-hardcore instrumentation, and meshes it together into a deafening, cohesive and powerful wall of sound.

"Enough" is a solid, no-bullshit opener transporting the listener into a bearded land, garnished with flannel where Hot Water Music comparisons are impossible to escape. "The Best" and "Sinking" launches Our Own Wars-era Small Brown Bike into Lifetime-worthy endurance, while "You're Not My Father" is fairly somber, with huge chords that frame shimmering clean guitars and echoing toms. "Seeing and Hearing," my favorite, has the more melodic vocalist singing "the sound of ambulances in my head, they all make sense" before some tight breaks in the music. Very catchy.

And just like all great demos, it's over as quickly as it started. Though this style has recently produced some heavy hitters, Daylight will find their niche and stand their ground by avoiding too much pop and pristine.