Written By: Ethan Griggs
My Music: ethangriggsmusic.virb.com
The brand of folk-punk made by the Houston quartet Days N’ Daze has been described by the band itself as “thrashgrass”, and it makes a lot of sense given that the band is a little more of Nitty Gritty Dirt Band than they are of Flogging Molly. Their the the type of outfit that would do well on the lineup of the Telluride Bluegrass Festival as well as in the opening slot for Weezer (a place they’ve actually occupied before). The latest release from the incredibly profile group, Crustfall, is a dynamic piece of 21st century music that will surely satisfy longtime fans. On their first release for the label All We’ve Got Records, the gang vocals, the brass, the mandolins are all in the mix and amped up with maximum energy.
What’s nice about this release it’s that there’s plenty of folk and punk as separate entities in many of the songs. Some songs, like “Insta Mental Breakdown” and “Devil’s Hour”, portray a modern sort of folk music played in waltz time and ripe with organic sounding brass and string instruments, some even with spoken word poetry. Yet, in the same songs, the tempo changes and we’re catapulted at hyper speed into the realm of punk that has made this group and their fiery live shows, an attraction. Sometimes the band plays so fast that you can’t tell if the beating of the instruments is ok the upstroke or the downstroke.
There are lots of fun and memorable lyrics on the album, and like many of the rest of us Days N’ Daze, including key songwriters Jesse Sendejas and Whitney Flynn, are wondering what the conclusion of this strange, worldwide political tension is going to be. On the standout “World War III”, Sendejas accuses the listener: “Sit down and eat your supper and gaze at the evening news/Another riot started up today across the globe from you/But until the tear gas shatters through a window of your home/You’ll just sit back relax and say it’s not your problem”.
It’s not just politics, though; the group touches on many subjects, ranging from the commercialization of art all the way over to drug use. “While there’s millions of children still sick and hunger-stricken/I’m just sitting back and waiting for these fuckin’ drugs to kick in” is a couplet that appears on the album’s opener “I Wanna See It Burn”, and it’s one of the most memorable lines of the entire album.
Whether they’re voicing complaints about the state of the world and killer cops (“Save A Life”) or the shitty-ass person they just broke up with (“Daze N’ Daze Of Our Lives”) or just thanking someone for “putting up with all my shit” (“Crustfall”), Days N’ Daze have delivered another stunning album packed to the brim with “H-Town thrashgrass” that has captivated crowds all over the country. Whether they’re playing a house show or a sold out venue, this Houston quartet is guaranteed to folk your face off.