For a band that’s been popping since the MySpace music days, New Years Day should know by now to take their time when recording. With many shaky transitions and clashing melodic overlay, the self-proclaimed “hauntedmansioncore” group’s latest EP, Epidemic, is a five-track release one would expect to hear from a debut album rather than from a group who’s been heavily invested in the scene since 2006.
The EP as a whole is progressively coherent in its failures to hit the nail on the head. Tracks like “Other Side” are filled with weird melodic disconnects as they start off strong but fall apart when the vocals constantly try to overtake the instrumentals. It’s almost like a sonic version of Ikea furniture–all the screws and bolts are there, but they don’t necessarily line up with one another the way they’re supposed to.
Stepping back to listen to the EP all together, the tracks do have some fun, catchy moments. The chugging riffs of “Defame Me” are successfully complimented by the crowd pleasing “woah” sing-a-longs, and the chorus itself is solid yet safe. In a world where female vocalists like Taylor Momsen and Lynn Gunn are totally switching up the metal and alternative scenes, someone like Ash Costello needs to be able to hold her own when in the limelight, and instead just falls flat.
The EP has moments, such as with “Let Me Down,” where New Years Day really does try to branch out from Epidemic‘s beaten-path-sound to something a little more electro-carnie, but it wasn’t quite fine-tuned enough. It sounds almost like they simply had an idea, wrote it down, recorded it and handed it out. The nitpicky details feel rushed over and the transitions feel sloppy if seldom appropriate.
For a band coming out of a heavily “-core” and metal influenced vibe, they just fall flat with a release that’s been done a hundred times. Sure, it’s fine to hear in the background and it has its moments, but the opportunities to challenge both the listeners and themselves were completely lost and long forgotten.
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Natasha Van Duser
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