This is a review of "Road We Take / Face The World" recorded by Day Old Hate. The review was written by Jamie O'Neill in 2012.
This Sheffield-based hardcore quintet has had a fair few changes to their line-up over the past two years, and these two tracks are their first releases with new frontman Oli Swift. While retaining their heavy-metal punky style, motivated by Architects and A Day to Remember, they have taken a bold move to avoid screamo completely and focus solely on melodic vocals, which sets them very much apart from the general consensus of similar bands and allows them to engage with a whole new audience.
'Road We Take' opens with an upbeat punk-esque tempo with a heavy backing of distortion and clout, yet maintaining a fantastic balance through magnificent production. Duelling guitars from Will and Ben play a well-developed and quick-changing chord sequence with a distinctive metal style, evocative of Coheed and Cambria. Smooth melodic vocals sail above with an idiosyncratic and memorable character, giving a great contrast to the gritty instrumentation, and excellent vocal harmony compliments the sing-along mantra well in the chorus. The rhythmic breakdown in the second verse adds a punch to the song, and creates difference and a sort of disparity to the opening verse, keeping the song alive. Bold dynamics are present throughout, and despite a mellower section being present, it is still bold and aggressive, and a section without such oomph would give a great deal to the song, allowing for an almighty build-up. As well as this, a defining countermelody to the vocals would also thicken the sound and allow for real instrumental intricacy in either guitar or bass. However, it would be cruel to dwell on this, as the track on a whole is fantastically produced, very slick and a brilliant introduction to this new line-up.
'Face the World' kicks off with a great opening, making effective use of AM radio tones and half-time rhythm. A strong leading guitar melody adds a dimension that was lacking from the previous track, and it flows smoothly over the bassy aggression in the undertones. Glorious clean arpeggios in the guitar flicker in the verse, and the slower tempo gives an epic ballad feel. The quieter dynamics show that the band can pull off another sound aside from the bold distortion. The changes in volume are much more distinctive in this track, and allow for a fuller atmosphere and a much larger build to the dramatic chorus, which enters with characteristic strength, after a quirky fill from drummer Ed. It is powerful and full of substance, ridden with emotion and authority. Flowing harmonies and grand chordal progressions are present again, giving a gentler side and showing real beauty in their music. The middle eight transition into straight time adds a driving force towards the close, and the rhythmic contrast is welcome. I cannot find flaw with this track, and the drama and suspense created gives a huge impression and a great ambience.
Big things beckon for this band. Despite being fairly new on the scene with their current line-up, their intense gigging schedules have established a loyal fan base across Yorkshire. They are taking the melodic hardcore scene by storm and they certainly deserve all the credit they receive. They are exceptionally tight and have impeccable song writing capabilities, as this demo aptly shows. This next year or two will be absolutely huge for them, so keep an ear out. With music like this, the sky really is the limit for Day Old Hate.