Heavy rock n’ roll; it’s big, it’s loud and it speaks to us on a physical level. What makes heavier music so appealing to us isn’t just the fact that it can rumble the floorboards beneath our feet, but that it can transcend sound and space and assault us with its audiological might. It takes more than cranked amplifiers and sterling guitar riffs to make a record that can shatter rocks and melodies alike, but in the case of Austin, Texas’ Dayeater, there simply isn’t another way of doing business. In their eponymous second album Dayeater takes us right into the core of their infectiously catchy yet fiercely weighty style of hard rock, which shockingly utilizes a lot less volume than I might have expected in producing a thoroughly blistering LP.
Tracks like Dayeater’s “Sleepy Brain” pay an homage to the group’s metallic influences such as Pentagram and Black Sabbath, but I would by no means classify their latest record as a metal album. Where heavy metal lacks any sort of swing in its recreation of what is essentially blues rock song structures, Dayeater’s music embraces the rollicking sound of its source material, sumptuously taking cues from the Delta-inspired flavor of late 60s psychedelic bands instead of the gloomy stomp of their successors. This record certainly would appeal to fans of metal’s more cerebral scenes, but through and through it’s difficult to argue its debt to the indie rock ethos that spawned it, as well as the band’s general rejection of campy imagery.
“Veinte Veinte” and “Laxadaze” show off Dayeater’s more exotic side, which is just as inviting as their more abrasive tracks to behold on this record. I like that in making a sequel to 2016’s Voices Out of Nowhere the band decided to rehash their signature formula and even out some of their harmonies. I liked Voices, but when compared to Dayeater it seems almost amateurish and fragmented. These guys have worked hard at refining their sound in the last couple of years, and when you listen to their collective body of work you really notice how much development they’ve made. They’ve still got a few minor, very fixable kinks to work out, but overall I have to say that they’ve made substantial improvements that exhibit how committed they are to making this sound their own.
Dayeater’s kind of music is admittedly not everyone’s cup of tea, but if you’re like me and live for speaker-shaking riffs that make as enormous an impression with their tenacity as they do with their tonality, the band’s latest album certainly satiates a hunger for explosive audio. Rock has so many different facets to its growing tree of subgenres, and it’s exciting to see groups like this one relentlessly expanding their sonic palate with open-minded experimentation and calculated compositions that engage us on every level. This is the more mature of their two studio albums to date, and it would be a good place for unfamiliar fans to start getting acquainted with Dayeater’s sound profile. I enjoyed this album, and I think most heavy music fans would be inclined to as well.