DAYS N DAZE: Show Me the Blueprints: CD

I can’t say I was excited to get a folk punk CD to review. Don’t get me wrong, I like folk punk like Billy Bragg, AJJ, and Roger Manning; stuff like that. It’s just that folk punk got really, really bad over the years. Every band sounds like MTV Unplugged with annoying shouting and the growling up of lungs. Ugh! But I’ll be damned if Days N Daze wasn’t a pleasant surprise. First of all, they’re all really adept musicians. All their songs have a few parts and make surprisingly good use of their instruments like banjos and washboards and accordions and jugs. While that annoying growling vocal style does make an appearance, it’s kept to a minimum and most of the songs are sung as if they take pride in their music. The lyrics are honest, personal takes on mental illness, self-medicating, and coping. Not by any means odd tropes for a folk punk band, but where most bands in the genre cover them like they’re competing in a nihilistic, loser chic dick-measuring contest, Days N Daze sing of real feelings and struggles in a way that’s relatable and sincere. Not really my thing, but not all that bad. I might go as far as to say I enjoyed it. By the way, what’s a folk punk’s favorite game? JENGA! JENGA! JENGA! Hah. Get it? Because that’s what they all sound like? Get it? Whatever. Will you get the hell out of here? –Craven Rock (Fat Wreck Chords)