# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Days Like These - Charity Burns Green

  by Alex Halls

published: 18 / 4 / 2005

Days Like These - Charity Burns Green
Label: Lobster Records
Format: CD


Strong debut album from six-piece New Jersey emo punks Days Like These, whom cite Radiohead, Incubus and Coldplay amongst their influences

Citing Radiohead, Incubus and Coldplay, within the booklet, as bands the listener should tune into, it becomes clear, even without listening to a note, where the band’s influences will lie. These influences are indeed clear to be seen right from the very start in 'Charity Burns Green'; using Incubus-styled vocals that sound as if they are reaching out to a distant object, attempting to draw it nearer. The result of this is a record that with the punkier guitaring sounds very much like emo, in the vein of Boy Sets Fire, but without the harder, screaming vocals, nor the foibles that we often find in that type of music. Yet, these influences do not define the album. It quite happily has its own sound and a good one at that. Coming together as friends at the local high school in Vineland, New Jersey, it is rare to find six musicians in one band, but that is the exact number at which Days Like These stands. The six; Angel Santiago (vocals); Brad Harrison (guitar/vocals); Derrick Miller (guitar/sounds); Mark Hooven (bass); Ron Segers (drums/percussion); and, interestingly, Chris Applegate on keyboard, piano and organ have crafted a solid album, another remarkable addition to the Lobster Records portfolio. Chris initially appears to figure much less on ''Charity Burns Green' than his fellow band members but the addition of his instruments actually adds a dynamic to the sections where it is present, even if it is difficult to pick up singularly. Turning to a couple of high points on 'Charity Burns Green', if one can realistically single them out without omitting others as credible of mention as these, one certainly has to start by including the guitaring on 'One In One Thousand'. Here, Days Like These creates an atmosphere of suspense, that builds each time it enters during the track. The slowly-paced 'In Time' works beautifully in contrast with this, due to its emotionally charged and melodic nature. Santiago’s voice comes across beautifully, driven by a passion that never gets carried away and aggressive but knows how to assert itself through character. There are some pleasant, relaxing starts to songs on this album, the lead vocals falling into this category also. Sequentially, where there is radiance, there is an attached gloominess, presented on Charity Burns Green in the lyrics and, further, in the music. Therefore the eleven songs on Charity Burns Green all have their own musical as well as lyrical story to tell. The album deals with issues that have affected the band members’ lives; divorce; being raised by a single parent; war; depression; suicide; and drug abuse, which all adds a sense of veracity to the album, increasing its appeal. The band states that in its opinion the best songs come from truth, which, if you hit the right mark, stands to reason, despite some truths, not here to be found, causing friction. On the whole 'Charity Burns Green' is not cutting edge but is damn good nevertheless. The Days Like These songs are tight, easy to get into and develop not just those themes that we come across in our everyday lives but also those hidden away, out of most people’s ordinary sight and often neglected. Everything on the record fits in neatly; there are no apparent oddities. Thus this gives 'Charity Burns Green' an obvious advantage over similar releases that may attempt to pass themselves off as worthy of being placed in the same category; there are few that will reach the level of this regardless of how hard they try.

Track Listing:-
1 The Dawning
2 Preparation: Anxiety
3 One In One Thousand
4 Beneath The Surface
5 Charity.Burns.Green
6 In Time
7 The Sergeant's Son
8 Bruises
9 Threefold
10 Slip And Descend
11 Love Spell

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