Debut full-lengths are always such a joy to evaluate. There is nothing more interesting to me than witnessing how much of a band’s potential is flaunted on their debut and later looking back and tracking how far they have progressed or digressed. Daytrader‘s Rise Records debut Twelve Years is definitely an interesting specimen. I don’t know what was in the water over in Long Island, New York and I don’t know when exactly vets such as Taking Back Sunday, Brand New, and Glassjaw used up all that water, but the spring is flowing once again in NY as Daytrader offers up an incredibly solid debut.
Twelve Years is exactly what one might expect from a Mike Sapone-produced record, sprouted from the ashes of a now-settled Long Island music scene. It is clear from the off that Daytrader is a group that know their craft and know exactly how to execute that craft. “Deadfriends” opens the album with incredible power and force, and shows shades of a “Sic Transit Gloria…Glory Fades” type track.
After such a fantastic opener I was floored. I wanted more. I needed more. Unfortunately Daytrader’s brilliance is quite fickle. It seems that every other track is built up enormously with huge climaxes and carefully crafted melodies, but these specific tracks are almost always directly followed by a hollowed out, dry version of the song that precedes it. “Firebreather,” “After-Image,” and the aforementioned “Deadfriends” leak devotion. Instrumental subtlety is what sets bands apart and as sneaky guitar licks and background effects pop up here and there across Twelve Years, Sapone’s work behind the boards becomes prevalent. Sadly each behemoth of a track is despondently haunted by incredibly average tracks such as “If You Need It” or “Skin & Bones” that don’t do much but delude the momentum that the well-paced tracks before them had built.
The latter half of Twelve Years, however, joyously ends this trend. The one-two…three-four punch that concludes Twelve Years shows exactly why this band is so generally loved. Vocalist Tym (no last name, what a badass!) carries a certain hallowed swagger in his voice throughout most of the album but especially toward the latter half. The epic finale “Letter to a Former Lover” single-handedly embodies how heavily Daytrader can deliver their mastered craft and is reason enough to believe that the musical torch of Long Island is in respected hands.
When all is said and done, Daytrader have proven their worth in the scene. Rise Records once again have proven that they are becoming a force to be reckoned with with this release. It is very exciting to witness such a stellar debut from a young band. With many years ahead of them plus the solid support system from their label, it is only a matter of time before Daytrader becomes a staple in the scene.