Days We Are Even – ‘Himalaya’ Album Review


With members drawn from Germany, Switzerland and Brazil, Days We Are Even are a truly international bunch with their eye on becoming huge. On this twelve track release you can hear the band’s naked ambition almost leaping from the speakers as they mix melody with crunchy riffs and infectious energy in a way that will surely appeal to fans of Filter, Stone Sour and Foo Fighters. Clearly possessed of a powerful pop nous, DWAE are not averse to laying down some seriously weighty riffs and ultimately this is a release that is both memorably melodic and satisfyingly heavy all at once whilst still retaining the power to surprise at various junctures.

Opening with ‘misunderstood’ the band set out their stall somewhere between Fear Factory, Filter and the Foo Fighters which, alliteration aside, means huge pounding beats, guitars hewn from stone and vocals which carry both melody and bite in equal measure. As unpredictable as the quite excellent artwork which adorns the package (look carefully at the cover art and you’ll see a cow floating away under the power of pink balloons), DWAE are not about easy pop numbers, although you’ll find plenty of hooks, nor are they about out and out rocking, although it is easy to imagine the rock clubs going wild for the band’s crunchy riffs, and as you move into ‘stereo/stereo’ with its odd electronic touches, wild roars and pounding guitars you’re reminded of Devin Townsend at his most charmingly accessible. ‘Saturday leash’ is even more schizophrenic, contrasting wild screams and furious riffs with acoustic passages taken straight from green day’s ‘American idiot’… no, really! It’s interesting, unconventional and memorable, although those who prefer their rock to be rather more straight forward might find it irritating to have their adrenalin boost so rudely cast aside by melodic concerns. ‘Mescaline’ is the sort of lung-bursting heavy rock anthem you can imagine crawling up the charts in the heady pre-X factor days (days when you’d find songs by the likes of Filter and Slipknot charting), and whilst the mainstream is so relentlessly horrendous now that DWAE have more chance of being sent to the moon in order to play the world’s first zero-g gig, it is still a mighty fine song that underscores both the band’s potential and ambition in one simple, terrifyingly memorable, blast of guitar-fuelled rock, complete with stunning acoustic outro. The album’s title track is a fast paced blast that combines easy guitars, a disco beat and multiple vocal lines to great effect, only to wrong-foot you once again by unleashing huge riffs when you least expect them, highlighting the fact that DWAE delight in the unconventional.

Having thoroughly impressed, DWAE manage to maintain the quality control with ‘pure’ a track that adds shimmering post rock guitars to the mix and swirls everything around just for the hell of it. Capable of remarkable dynamic shifts, from acoustic balladry to immense riffs in seconds, DWAE never fail to keep things interesting and there’s plenty here to keep rock fans more than happy, even as the melodies will cause certain songs to sit in your brain for weeks, impossible to remove without the aid of turpentine and ill-advised, carpet destroying operations to the cranium (such stains are hell to remove) such is their hook-laden staying power. ‘Cars (the low breeze of hope)’, odd title aside, pulls the filter trick of contrasting huge opening riffs with pop melodies, although it takes it one step further by heading from metallic territory to what sounds like a solo artist playing a banjo on the verse. It shouldn’t… by all laws of the musical universe… it really shouldn’t work, and yet the band’s unfailing ability to nail a melody is matched only by their ability to carve out furious riffs that keep things interesting even if you’re merely waiting for them to kick back in. ‘Rewind the pain’ is a slower number, recorded with a healthy dose of reverb and with the band sounding uncharacteristically sombre and it stands out, showcasing their ability to write songs of depth and real emotional power.

Heading into the final third of the album, ‘Ballerina’ sees the band hitting their turbo-charged best recalling Fozzy at their most driven with a seething riff and huge swathes of melody dripping through the mix. ‘Take my time’ starts off wallowing in introspection before a massive riff blows things wide open in a sea of Technicolor confetti, piled-up beats and guttural roars. In contrast ‘seventeen’ is the sort of massive sounding ballad you might expect from Filter or the Foos at their most restrained. Final track ‘the elegance’ is perfectly named because it is both elegant, with a subtle industrial undercurrent, and strangely beautiful, and it proves to be a fitting end for an album that genre-hops beautifully over the course of its fifty-or-so minutes.

Overall DWAE have crafted a massive, day-glow triumph of an album. Filled to bursting with ideas and far noisier than any three-piece have any right to be, the band lay down monstrously huge riffs and genuinely memorable melodies in equal measure and the production, too, deserves credit for sounding utterly huge and perfectly done. While those seeking out and out aggression may find the band’s poppier instincts not to their tastes, this is classy, well-written and perfectly played pop-infused heavy rock with enough innovation to keep things interesting across the whole disc’s run time and thus it comes highly recommended.

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