A New Day – A New Day EP
Beginning with standout track 'Reality Check,' the self-titled EP from Welsh rockers A New Day serves as a superb insight into both the group's vast potential and the reason why they are not yet ready to fulfil it.
A New Day play, for the most part, a rousing, energetic yet technically adept brand of punk-rock in the Rise Against mould. However, the group has a tendency to overcomplicate matters by lapsing into ambient asides or stomping breakdowns reminiscent of the nu-metal fad that ruin the flow of their music. Comprising of five members, it is easy to imagine why such a confliction of styles occurs; though such confliction will need to be addressed for the band to progress to a bigger stage.
Opening track 'Reality Check' is a prime example. Starting with a pensive guitar riff that melodramatically demands reflection, it takes one minute and twenty seconds before the shackles are lifted and the song is allowed to begin – though when the cat is let out of the bag, out jumps a lion, snarling, clawing and with a wild mane of hair. The 'Reality Check' that follows is a blistering attack on the senses; growling, aggressive vocals, a duelling guitar, and a pounding rhythm section converge to jump out and grab you by the ears. And then it all gets spoiled. Three minutes and forty-five seconds after the song began, the track breaks down into a humdrum pogo-fest, endless repeating lyrics and all, that creates the most unoriginal attempt at crowd participation since "how are you doing town x!" I have no doubt the crowd will lap this up live, but on record it sounds contrived – the cardinal sin for any self-respecting would-be punk outfit.
Following 'Reality Check' is 'More To A Hero' – the latter hitting the same mounds and troughs as the former. This time dispensing with an unnecessary intro, the band dives straight into another ballsy punk anthem sonically similar to their first attempt. Again however, just before the curtain falls on the song, the band slips in a similarly turgid breakdown that conjures images of Fred Durst doing that silly dance whilst screaming incomprehensibles about nothing in particular.
I apologise if it appears I am being too harsh on A New Day; the band have wonderfully tight technical skills and can certainly thrash out a sublime punk anthem or two however it frustrates me that such a promising band choose to desecrate their sound with such unnecessary nonsense. If I were a credible philosopher I would say; "you can have the best steak in the world, but if the sauce has gone off the whole meal is ruined."
During the climax of 'Reality Check,' the band repeats the line "Lets take control!" – this reviewer thinks A New Day should consider their own advice and take control of their musical direction.