Thursday, February 17, 2011
In Dying Days - Life As A Balancing Act/After the Fire EP's
In Dying Days has been used by a few bands in the last year or two, but from 1998-2003 it belonged to these 5 gentlemen from Quebec. Playing a brand of hardcore that definitely had a lot in common with many 90's/early 00's Florida bands; crunchy riffs, double bass, running guitar leads, and thought provoking lyrics; In Dying Days didn't appear to have a specific slant other than thinking. Lyrics that run the gamut of human existence - love, loss, growing up, dissatisfaction with something you love, disdain for your fellow humans, and a hidden Nirvana cover.
The two proper ep's here (there's a third ep that was released first and isn't nearly the same quality, but still worthy of inclusion) are:
Life As A Balancing Act (my first exposure to them) & their final release "After the Fire." LAABA shows the band fully formed, coming into their own with heavy and interesting hardcore that still keeps a fairly quick pace (7 songs, 22 minutes). The opening track, "Guns Don't Kill People, I Do" sets the pace for things (and no, it isnt a pro-gun song; its an admittance that we as people are often the most deadly weapon) and doesn't let up from there. Clear spoken vocals that quickly give way to a very clear & understandable scream, stop/start riffs, and one of the big pluses to me, a very distinguishable bass punctuation to the songs. Other standouts are "To: You Know Who You Are" , "Never Tear Apart", "Grumpy Old Men".
After the Fire is the follow up to Life As A Balancing Act & (unfortunately) the last release before the band came completely undone. 5 songs (plus a hidden Nirvana cover) that take things up a level. Where LAABA had almost a quicker mid-tempo pace to it with guitar leads running through the songs, After the Fire takes the pace up a bit more and infuses breakdowns a bit more to still draw the songs out and show off the heavy. The band was already coming to an end when recording took place, but the band had resolved to record these songs and release them prior to dissolution. As such, the songs don't bear proper titles, but rather corresponding month/day/year titles. A fine way to end an all too brief run as a band, and an example of how some bands are probably better off just doing EP's. Standout tracks: "October 10th, 2001 (1:12 A.M.)" & "July 2nd, 2002 (7:50 P.M.)". "June 9th, 2002 (4:55 P.M.)" also has a riff running through it that just makes me want to pick things up and smash them, especially as the ending refrain boils over, "Feel No Shame In Who You Are!"
The other ep included is their first attempt and is pretty standard fare, quality alone helps to trap and limit it, but I'm a completest (I think my wife calls it obsessive) and the songs aren't horrid.
DOWNLOAD: In Dying Days - EP's