Dayeater release self-titled LP


Dayeater’s self-titled album arrives like the sheriff/savior riding into to town, bringing justice to the land and joy to the townspeople. Okay, maybe that description pours on the hyperbole a little thick. However, if you’ve been listening to a little too much repetitive trap music, without even the hint of an electric guitar in earshot, the sound of this pounding, shouting, grinding psychedelic band from Austin, Texas, it can sure feel like a salvation of some kind.

Opener “Mr. Ill” kicks off the album with a scream and a riff that recalls the Beatles’ “Helter Skelter.” “Thx 2 Who,” though, has a bit of The Who running through it. “Sleepy Brain” features a guitar solo that would fit right into a Jack White rocker. “Paper Dolls” lumbers on like a punk rock song.

Although the group points back to vintage acts, such as Blue Cheer, MC5 and 13th Floor Elevators, the group filters these influences through much of the hard rock that’s come along since then. The electric guitar riffs are consistently heavy, but the melodies are memorable and tight vocal harmonies characterize many of these tracks.

Over 12 tracks, though, Dayeater covers much musical ground. One called “Ballad of Kalliope,” for instance, breaks from the album’s more simplistic, primal grooves. With this one, the group goes into an extended instrumental section. With its faux-classical vibe, it sounds closer to vintage progressive rock, and not at all like the garage rock and psychedelia found in most the rest of the album. Then there’s “Viente Viente,” which, when translated from Spanish to English, means “Alive Alive.” The track has a slightly Mexican music vibe, including a trumpet fanfare as the intro. It even features some lyrics in Spanish. It’s an epic, Don Quixote-like love song


While much of Dayeaters’ influences are artists and bands that likely came and went long before they were even born, they’ve learned well from their historic studies. There are good reasons why many young people reach past the music of their contemporaries, and get into classic rock, pre-punk and psychedelic sounds. The music back then was much less pretentious. The songs came off more heartfelt than cynical. One also gets the impression these pioneering players were in it for the love of the game, and not just to make big money.

These three Dayeater players are all highly talented. Just as Muse has proven that bigger (as in numbers) isn’t always better, this trio shows that it doesn’t take a large army of players to create a big, loud sound.

“Acid Tongue” is the psychedelic-ist song of the bunch. You can just imagine yourself dancing wildly to it in a groovy 60s rock club. It features a wailing electric guitar solo. It’s as wild as its title suggests. Unexpectedly, the album closes with “W Out Lies,” which is relatively gentle, at least when comparing it to the music that comes before. Even in this quieter format, though, Dayeater shines.

Sometimes, you need to reach back to move forward. Dayeater is the sound of a group reaching back for the best possible music.


Dan MacIntosh