Fuzz-drenched Texas crew Dayeater are introducing 2018 to their stylish brand of stoner rock in the form of their self-titled sophomore album, which boasts plenty of lush psychedelic grooves and mammoth guitar riffs to electrify your autumn. Dayeater derive their sound from a combination of 70s garage bands and 90s desert rock in the vein of Fu Manchu, Kyuss and Monster Magnet, but I wouldn’t go as far as to call them a retro group. Their style of heavy music isn’t shy about attacking power chords nor chasing after virtuosic licks, and it’s adding a much needed shot of adrenaline to an otherwise quiet time in indie rock.
As most of us know, the Austin scene is one of the most incredibly diverse in the entire country, acting as a sort of crossroads for artists making their way to either American coastline. Dayeater embody a lot of the multilayered sound that the city they call home has become so famous for, and their latest album does a pretty good job of demonstrating what they’re capable of. It’s a little crowded for a sophomore release, consisting of seven really spot on tracks and five additional songs that arguably could have been left off the record, but what it lacks in sophistication it makes up for in sheer unadulterated power.
“Paper Dolls” goes a long way to creating a distinction between Dayeater and other similarly minded neo-psychedelic rock bands by flaunting a southern style dirge at us that is unquestionably different from their more streamlined peers who typically employ direct, focused riffing. This track rebelliously rejects those robotic tempos in favor of indulging in a vicious guitar part that rips through the rest of the band like a hot knife through butter. Even if it is more aggressive than the rest of the album, it still feels like a staple song in Dayeater’s repertoire.
The thunderous funk of “Herb Loose” features a vocal that sounds hauntingly like Grant Hart but otherwise bears no connection to the nimble sound of punk rock. Dayeater strike me as a do or die band, the kind that aren’t interested in going half way with any aspect of their music, even when it might mean cutting some corners and delivering an overwhelmingly raw product. You mix in these ethics with their bass-heavy tonality and you get this record; a messy but sinfully mischievous rock album with a huge bottom end and a whole lot of surprisingly crisp melodies.
They still have a long way to go before they’re able to stake a claim to the hierarchy of pop music, but what is undeniable is that Dayeater’s second full length album is a very organic caricature of the artists behind its conception. If Dayeater is but a taste of what this group can bring to the table I would have to concede that they’re definitely going to be worth keeping an eye on in the years to come. If you’re a fan of psychedelic music that leans more towards the spacey than it does the druggy, you would do well to give this album a spin the next time you’re looking for new music.