This is a review of "Untitled" recorded by The Dais. The review was written by Sam Saunders in 2003.
Bright chirpy guitar pop. Seven songs by four blokes from West Yorkshire. It’s really not at all bad.
As guitar band pop is not exactly in short supply though, it’s hard to see why we need yet another well drilled team going through the standard forms and phrases. There’s a hint of regret in "Short term alibi", a moderately wistful yearning in "Two left feet", a twinge of frustration in "Piece of mind", something mildly ominous and stimulating in "Landed" and so on. Tunes work well enough and tempos are kept in good order by Smack the drummer. But I don’t hear anything passionate or committed. It’s like the Dais would rather be "pretty good" (which they are) than take the risk of being brilliant (and therefore disliked).
I’ve played the CD many times, but can’t find a hook that drags me in. There’s no chord change, guitar strum, lyrical phrase, melodic twist or shift of tempo that makes me go Wooah! It’s all standard building block stuff with lyrics that use homely sounding phrases in jumbled and vaguely meaningless ways. The interesting twist in the title of "tow the line" seems to be just bad spelling, with no attention paid to either toeing or towing any lines at all ... cocaine, shipping, employment, rules ... whatever. These cliché-ridden lyrics are written on automatic. Like so many bands, an apprenticeship of performing really good songs written by other people would lift the Dais to the level they should be at. They’re bringing competent musicianship to highly predictable versions of relatively pointless songs and it doesn’t add up.
From the point of view of promoting the band’s future I have to agree that they are a polished and musically accomplished outfit with a confident feel for mainstream guitar pop. A start has been made. Perspiration, no problem. Inspiration required.