Release: Godfather - EP
Date of release: 22/05/19
Record Label: Independent
For Fans Of: Alphawolf, Diamond Construct, Thy Art Is Murder
"Bad boy’s in a body bag, reminiscing on what he had,"
Daybreak’s latest EP has had me waiting in anticipation for a while now, their 2017 effort Death Dreams left me constantly wanting more between their occasional visits to the east coast since then. A very deathcore-centric release at the time, Perth’s heavy hitters took me by surprise with ‘Therapy’, a far cry from their last EP’s opener and a solid indicator of the direction the band will take moving forward.
We are instantly sucked in with a filthy bass riff, clearer guitar tones and a smooth song structure that lies underneath some more refined vocal work from Shaun Cox, offering more clarity with his pronunciation and technique and using vocal phrasing that hooks the listener more effectively than tracks I’ve listened to in the past. There’s more grit and angst to his voice this time out, gutturals seem to be slowly phasing out and bassist Liam Webster has all but replaced his slicing high scream sections with really strong cleans that were teased in ‘Acid Green’ a few months back, flexing a vocal timbre that is similar to Ocean Grove at times. In Shaun’s case, think CJ McMahon during the transition of ‘Hate’ to ‘Holy War’.
For a band so young (SO young), they are showing maturity beyond their years by recognizing their strengths and developing/tweaking their sound at a pace that they have no right to be, considering their age and experience.
I am an absolute sucker for some core-laden guitar riffs and big breakdowns, ‘Therapy’ ticks all the boxes and then some, with each section transitioning smoothly between one another before being rounded out with its powerful chorus to firmly plant you in your seat and get ready for the EP’s remaining tracks.
The second track of the EP, ‘Bad Boy’, turned out to be the most interesting thing (for me) that Daybreak have put out over their short history. This song felt closer to the Daybreak of old for me, devoid of clean vocals, chunky riffs aplenty and a breakdown that will kick your ass and hand it back to you. Not to say they don’t falsely lull you in with a very soothing guitar intro before pulling a complete 180 with some erratic chaos. In saying that, Daybreak got a little experimental and featured some hardcore style vocals that gave this track a unique twist and allows it to stand out between ‘Therapy’ and ‘Godfather’.
Surprisingly enough, in turn, this ends up being my least favourite pick of the bunch. Not to discredit Daybreak for anything they attempted here, as I’m sure there will be a plethora of fans who really enjoy this particular take of their newfound direction, I’m just frothing at the bit over their melodies, hooks and choruses when utilized.
I’m very interested in the story behind this song, "Bad boy’s in a body bag, reminiscing on what he had," as I initially thought it was an odd song name, it becomes a bit of a lyrical motif throughout and I’m led to believe he’s a character with a back story that unravels within 'Bad Boy’. This idea is also somewhat entertained with the inclusion of the hardcore-esque vocals in the middle of the song, which also results in a fun back and forth with main vocalist, Shaun.
As previously mentioned, despite this not hitting me with as much impact as the other two song’s on this release, 'Bad Boy' grew on me the more time’s I listened to it, fans of "Death Dreams" are going to salivate to this relentless track.
Singles tend to be the strongest part of any release, the recent 'Godfather' music video had me chomping at the bit to see what else Daybreak could produce, but it is undoubtedly the crown jewel of this 3-track. This song does so much right that it stands head and shoulders above the other 2 in my opinion, not to take anything away from them, but I just feel 'Godfather' is that good.
There are wonderful dynamic shifts woven throughout that push and pull the listener with each change, it forces you to stay engaged and attentive and I feel like this is the culmination of Daybreak’s recent musical evolution wrapped into one fantastic composition. Both Liam and Shaun combine and balance duties a lot here, battling line for line to create a very atmospheric chorus and exchanging responsibility to become focal points for the different moods the song provides.
Ultimately, everything is glued together with production that is pivotal in showcasing just how huge Daybreak can sound and that their gradual journey away from being recognized solely as a deathcore band is well justified. This is a new Daybreak and I am all here for the journey as they slowly take over the country.
Would You Go And See Them (WYGAST) 5/5
Personal Enjoyment: 10/10