Daycare For Jedi – ‘This Is What You Get’ (Prime Collective) Print
CD Reviews
Written by Jonni D   
Friday, 17 March 2017 04:30

dfj cover layeredDenmark is not somewhere you automatically think of when it comes to pop punk: the sun-kissed melodies and songs about leaving your hometown have a distinctly American essence to them, which is fundamentally why the most successful bands within the genre have been of the transatlantic persuasion. Britain has historically floundered in its dalliance with pop punk, but has recently bred one of the finest contemporary bands in Neck Deep, even with them sticking religiously to the American template. There has been a notable swell in the emerging bands outside of the States who are making ripples with in the scene, which leads us to the introduction of the Danish representatives, Daycare For Jedi. Following on from their debut EP ‘Worst Things First’, the band are geared up for the release of their first full length, ‘This Is What You Get,’ and pleasingly it stands apart from the plethora of carbon copies within the genre at large.


The most striking aspect of ‘This Is What You Get’ is the rawness of the production, immediately separating it from the Pro-Tooled monstrosities that stagnates the scene. There is a heft and crunch to the rhythm guitars that is so often lost in the overly processed tracks of Daycare For Jedi’s more mainstream peers, and that alone adds a touch of character to proceedings. By and large, the band deal in pop-punk in the vein of Neck Deep and The Story So Far, two of the standouts within the genre, and prove their competency early on. The opening title track blasts off with a gang vocal section before the buzz-saw riffs, noodling lead lines and impressively infectious chorus lay the groundwork for the rest of the album. Thankfully, vocalist/guitarist Jens Erik avoids the faux American accent, another key factor in the homogenization of many of the current bands in the scene. Rather than the overly nasal quality that is so prevalent, Jens bears a striking resemblance to A Day To Remember’s Jeremy McKinnon, while retaining a hint of his Scandinavian accent within his singing style.


The band are clearly no one-trick pony as they cover a broad range of stylistic territory across the album. The shimmering ‘Indifferent’ is probably the best of the more standard pop-punk sounding material, but it’s when the band branch out that they show they’re worth their salt. Album highlight ‘A Better Way’ not only features a great chorus, but shows a significant degree of musical innovation within the genre: the delayed, palm muting overlaid by a trickling lead line, followed by a heavier, syncopated riff and droning dissonance in the background, is the sort of ambient instrumentation attributed more closely to alt. rock acts. When the song drops out to the highly effected, clean-tone guitar motif, there are similarities to the more subdued side of post-hardcore. The penultimate ‘Treading Water’ culminates with the band displaying their aptitude for heavier stylings, crushing hardcore riffing and harsh vocals at the fore, reminiscent of German hardcore mob, Waterdown.


Much like metalcore, pop-punk is always in danger of buckling under the seemingly never-ending slew of derivative material being pumped out by a growing number of unoriginal bands. In Daycare For Jedi’s case, their willingness to go beyond the oft aped template of the American formula benefits them greatly in terms of individuality. Besides this though, the hooks are present in abundance, resulting in ‘This Is What You Get’ being a strong album in its own right, while promising at greater things to come.


‘This Is What You Get’ is out now.


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