ALBUM REVIEW: Days N’ Daze – Show Me The Blueprints (Fat Wreck Chords)
Folk-punk band Days N’ Daze, from Houston, Texas, have spent more than a decade as an entirely DIY concern, booking and promoting themselves, and recording and releasing their own albums.
So it’s something of a surprise that they’ve hooked up with leading US punk/ska indie label Fat Wreck Chords for this, their eighth full-length album.
Whitney Flynn (vocals/trumpet) and Jesse Sendejas (vocals/guitar) have forged their own path from the start, gaining kudos by playing with the likes of Leftover Crack and M.D.C. along the way.
Other members have come and gone, but these days the line-up is rounded out by Meagan Melancon on washboard and Geoff Bell on washtub bass.
Their signature ‘H-town thrashgrass’ sound, which mixes folk, bluegrass and punk, hasn’t changed, and this album’s main message – quite timely given its release in the midst of a global pandemic – is ‘keep going’.
It tackles issues like comfort, stability, acceptance, happiness and the struggle to find them, and Sendejas admits he wrote a lot of the songs while drunk, but revisited them once he’d got sober, which brought a different perspective.
He addresses his alcoholism in the opening track Flurry Rush, where he sings “Sure, I suppose that I could down another fifth/To help myself forget/Pocket the grenade and pull the pin”.
Coping with addiction, anxiety and self-loathing are themes he returns to time and again, on LibriYUM, My Darling Dopamine and Addvice, and you get the feeling that writing this album was like one big therapy session.
It’s not all self-examination, however; we get a study of the powers that be in None Exempt, where he sings: “We’ve got rapists and thieves/In control of our country/When you know all the things/That they’ve done and they’ve said/How the fuck are you not chanting/Off with their heads).
We get a dose of heartache on Fast Track, obsessive-compulsive behaviour on the title track, and death on Goodbye Lulu Pt 2. Despite the gloomy subject matter, this is a surprisingly upbeat album, and be sure to keep listening beyond the last track for the uncredited banger of a ‘hidden’ track, which I’m just guessing might be called Go Fuck Yourself… 7/10.