Day Action Band - Right On Dairyland
Discovering new music is still a thrill. Once you've lost that, you're practically dead. No matter how you discover "your new favourite band", be it radio, internet or good 'ole fashioned mix tapes that your mates made for you, I still get excited when I've found something new. I became aware of the Day Action Band whilst clicking, randomly, through Myspace friends, their songs loaded instantly and as the dreamy intro to All Comes Down To This echoed through my tinny computer speakers my ears perked up, there was something here, something special about the songs that I'd not come across for a while. A couple of clicks and a few days later, through my letter box pops Right On Dairyland, a lovingly written and recorded album full of witty lyrics and delicate music.
The Day Action Band is brothers Matt and Nate O'Keefe who, with sparse musical arrangements, bring to mind a stripped back Wilco, the vocals reminiscent in places of Jim O'Rourke's folk experiments. 65 Miles wouldn't sound out of place on Jim's Insignificance album with the delicate keyboards and organ placed just behind a gentle guitar strum and echoing drumming. Untitled is an aching beautiful song, sung in a raw and gruff voice full of years of hurt, all arranged over repetitive guitar chords and a quietly longing organ.
The lyrics deal with the usual Americana / folk topics of lost loves and relationship problems, but, when compared to some of their contemporaries, they sound very real, open and honest. Fixing Everything begins with "Don't break up with me / I'm fixing everything" sung in a haunting vocal that sounds full of loss and longing. The Eyes In The Back Of My Head sounds like it's come straight from the 70's and almost James Taylor-esque with it's hammond organ and gentle drumming before the refrain of "The eyes in the back of my heard are crying as they see the things you don't want me to see" and a dark and brooding organ seems to come in, ambush you and changes the feel of the song.
Whilst some of the tracks do sound very raw, Good To Me sounds like it could have done with a little more time in the recording studio and the production is very sparse and echoes as if was made in a giant room, for a record made and recorded independently, it should be applauded. It's the songs themselves, which are written to a high standard, that are the real highlights here and with a little more embellishment musically, these guys could see themselves progress further.