EP REVIEW: Wide Awake (DAYS LIKE THESE)
EP Wide Awake // ARTIST Days Like These
It's days like these that we all need a moment or two to vent and make sense of the world; and fortunately, Brissie alternative lords Days Like These deliver a cathartic lesson in fiery emotives and delicate brawn on their impending EP Wide Awake due out this Friday May 14.
Finding themselves swiftly branded as "ones to watch" back in 2018 and 2019, Days Like These have tirelessly worked to sharpen their place in the Aussie heavy scene, with a slew of tours, singles and even a festival stamped firmly in their wake before 2020 ripped the proverbial rug. And while the band weren't strangers to firmly snapping attention with their potent take on the heavier genres, it's in 2021 that the Brisbane quintet emerge with a vigorous bang, with a new lineup and a decidedly polished sound ready to kick off this brand new chapter for the group. Teaming up with producer Chris Lalic (Windwaker) to kickstart their latest adventure, Days Like These have quite literally rewritten their own rule book, and their brand new EP Wide Awake is a dazzling display of melodic post hardcore, seething chaos and staggering sensitivity.
Kicking off Wide Awake proceedings, the occasionally caustic Disassociate sets the scene with oscillating light and shade as scathing vocals and riffage pop up amongst more soaring melodics. Acting equally as a lesson in the juxtaposing reality of dissociating and compelling songwriting, Disassociate is a clever introduction that effortlessly leads into the infectious stylings of Inflection. Diving deeper into the group's affinity for dense soundscapes and refined heaviness, Inflection continues the glow-up for Days Like These (and certainly offers plenty of huge stadium-esque moments that would absolutely crush in a live setting).
Entirely not ones to play it safe, the electronic stylings of Honey unfurl next, with measured mellow hooks darting between neon-soaked gloom and some snappy pop snarl. Marking perhaps the biggest stylistic shift for Days Like These yet, Honey offers up a full-bodied breath of fresh air that is both unexpected but impulsively welcome, and firmly spotlights the group's significant work with Chris Lalic in the writing phases.
Continuing with a timely (and catchy) exploration into anxiety and displacement with the plush and punchy lead single Gravity, the Days Like These Gents continue to act cohesively while allowing each member to dish up some personal razzle dazzle as this sharp and cleverly simplistic melodic tune builds to its hurtling climax. For fans who like a bit more heavy mayhem with their morning coffee, High & Glow have you covered as the gents lash a rave-ready brawler that touches on substance abuse and partying to mask reality. It's, once again, a brand new side of Days Like These to unpack and devour, but also one that'll stick in your brain and hurtle you back in time to the industrial rave anthems of the late 90s.
With huge shoes to fill following the high octane High & Glow, closing track Forget Your Face initially leaps out as a subdued yet ardent ballad, before ultimately building into an earnest showstopper that cements the fact that Days Like These can enamour equally with their light as much with their acerbic shade. Swooping out on a tapered and gleaming sonic flourish, Forget Your Face may not be brandishing the breakdowns and chaos many crave in the heavier realms; but it's an invigorating and dexterous display, and certainly one to trigger some feels in even the iciest of souls.
For most in the music industry, 2020 was a year of hurt and unknowns; but as we are continually seeing in 2021, it was also an impetus for many to challenge and evolve themselves creatively, and that's precisely what Days Like These have achieved with their upcoming EP. Wide Awake is a lustrous delight that tackles weighty topics amid polished sonic ecstasy. For fans of post-hardcore, melodic grit or some good old-fashioned anthemic hooks, Days Like These are primed and ready to awaken your musical soul. Wide Awake unleashes this Friday May 14, for more info head HERE.
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BY TIANA SPETER