Review by Dom Vigil
Blackout is the infectiously catchy new release from throwback skatepunk group, One Days Notice. With simple, yet memorable guitar hooks and vocal patterns coupled with fun lyricism and dancy drumbeats, this album is sure to make you want to get up and move, start or fight, or at the very least, yearn for the days when you were young enough to carelessly do both.
The first thing that stands out about Blackout is the simplistic quality of the music. The first track, “All That I Know” is carried by repetitive and simple guitar work and a fun chorus that will be stuck in your head long before the song comes to an end. It’s aggressive, fun and simple but not to the point where the songwriting feels dumbed down by any means. It’s very easy to see what One Days Notice are all about by the time that “All That I Know” comes to an end, making it the perfect opening song as well as a perfect introduction to the band, if this is your first time listening to them.
Following the opener is “Riot,” which is strong for the same reasons as “All That I Know.” You’ll be singing, “I wanna riot” along with vocalist Chris Bassitt by the time the second chorus kicks in, and with a strong, pounding drumbeat, this song is dancy and powerful. However, the downside in “Riot” comes in the quality of the song's sound. Where “All That I Know” and the following track, “Feel It Now” are fairly crisp and clean, “Riot” is a muddy, and the vocals can tend to get lost at times. Normally, this DIY sort of sound wouldn’t necessarily be a surprise (or a bad thing) from a skatepunk band, but considering the clarity in the songs surrounding it, it tends to come off a little inconsistent. If you can look past these moments of inconsistency, though (which come quite a few times throughout Blackout) then you’re in for a very diverse record.
“Feel It Now” sounds very different from the first two tracks on Blackout, giving us a softer, more mellow side of One Days Notice, complete with piano and all. The change in sound in this track is promising, as it shows that there is definitely more than one side to One Days Notice, and thankfully, this isn’t the only time they expand on their sound on this album. For instance, “A Better Look” is a standout track simply because of the fuzzy guitar tone and strong bass work. “Hey Anna,” however, is one of the strongest tracks on the album for the same reasons as “All That I Know.” With simple, memorable lyrics and melodies that will worm their way into your head, this is a song that listeners are sure to be humming long after Blackout comes to a close. Simply put, “Hey Anna” is fun, and it’s on songs like this that One Days Notice really shine.
Following “Hey Anna” is “I Never You,” which expands on the band’s sound even more with a more serious sounding ballad, and surprisingly, the transition from a higher energy, light hearted tack is very smooth. And then, immediately following, is “Won’t Back Down,” which has some of the best energy on Blackout. The simplistic guitar work accents the vocals, and more importantly, the lyrics, which are definitely the high point of this aggressive and angsty track.
Winding things down toward the end, is another one of Blackout’s strongest tracks, “Do What You Want,” which is simplistic and very catchy. “Do What You Want” feels like the cumulation of all of the strong aspects of Blackout, with smart and memorable lyricism, an infectious chorus, great bass tone and simplistic guitar and drum work that compliment the rest of the song. Everything really works together well on this track, making it easily one of the strongest on the album.
One Days Notice really shine on Blackout. Despite some inconsistencies in sound toward the beginning of the album, the catchy choruses, simple songwriting and memorable lyrics really make Blackout worth listening to. By the time songs like “Hey Anna” and “Do What You Want” come around, it’s pretty easy to look past some of the album’s shortcomings and just have a good time, which is really what Blackout is all about.
Listen to "Do What You Want"
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