Daytrader - Last Days of Rome (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


Last Days of Rome (2011)

Run for Cover

We're ensconced in an age where, due to the prevalence of the Internet and illegal downloading (along with the economy's general downturn), many bands can only afford to tour regionally, if at all. The flipside to that same phenomenon is that information has never been more accessible, and conversation has never been easier to initiate across vast distances. There's an above-average chance that members of some of your favorite bands live in different cities, states, or even countries. Similarly, there's a pretty good chance that many of your favorite bands are veritable supergroups living in the same region, having risen from the ashes of either broken-up contemporaries or from the relative inactivity of their other gigs. These bands arrive with built-in pedigrees and, perhaps, unrealistic expectations. We inherently expect a band like Daytrader to be immediately great, when they're still really finding their voice. A young band is a young band, no matter how many veterans make up the ranks; chemistry takes time to manifest itself, if it ever does at all.

That's not to say that Daytrader's new EP, Last Days of Rome, isn't enjoyable; in fact, one can hear the band laying the foundation for something that has the potential to be really unique, without ever sounding out of their element. Really, LDoR is just about what you'd expect from a band boasting current and ex-members of Latterman, Crime in Stereo and Bridge and Tunnel (among others). These five tracks pull tricks from the sounds of each of those groups, and for the most part do so seamlessly; the driving, melodic heaviness of "Kill My Compass" as well as the stark, almost distant instrumentation of "Grey-Colored Glasses" are straight out of the latter-era CiS playbook. It's done in a manner slightly more straightforward, but the wrinkles are there.

"Living" takes those same attributes and adds some speed to them, as well as a more anthemic element that Latterman perfected in the mid-to-late 2000s. Here, it's never as gruff or spontaneous as that band's work tended to be, heading in the opposite direction of most of the other, more well-known post-Latterman projects. Conversely, a pronounced post-hardcore tinge abounds in both the title track and closer "Death Means Nothing to Men Like Me", both songs possessing bits of angular intricacies that, while on the more melodic, streamlined side, aren't far off from something one might hear on a Bridge and Tunnel record. Again, whether or not that comparison would be made without the omnipresent pedigree is unclear, but it's difficult to ignore given the circumstances. And why would we ignore it, anyway?

The finished product of these influences is, in its simplest form, a brand of emotional post-hardcore that's plenty familiar but never boring. Daytrader have caught lightning in a bottle with Last Days of Rome; time will tell if the band can sustain it over the course of a full-length, but a solid foundation is there.