Local emo bands A Day Without Love and Uncle/Father Oscar (obligatory Arrested Development video) recently released a split EP entitled A Day Without Oscar. Two songs a piece make a solid DIY collaboration, skill in guitar playing, songwriting, and producing (the split was engineered and produced by A Day Without Love lead guitarist Jake Detwiler and mastered by Uncle/Father Oscar guitarist Tom Conran) shows true promise from an already talented group of young musicians.
A Day Without Love’s side flows well and includes some truly cool guitar riffs that come with an awesome tone, alongside frontman Brian Walker’s painful realizations. The first track, “Lost Children” feels eerie and melancholy while lyrically reflecting on the struggle to push on through the absence of love and peace. “Broken Bridge” is more energetic, the changing, tangled riffs and tricky drums play off each other well as Walker sings Old friends become strangers / That remind you of anger / And the pain that hurt the most / Will haunt you like a ghost. There’s a tight jam towards the end of the song that is awesome, and the song somberly ends by pulling back to just an acoustic to reflect one last time on the haunting pain.
Uncle/Father Oscar’s twinkly guitar work is crafty and works well with their raw singing/shouting vocals. Dallas Scott and Keith Rogers share guitar and vocal duties, often passing off lines to each other before coming together with gang vocals in epic emo fashion. “Renee, Renee” starts off strong, and the explosion about halfway in contains spot-on riffs, clean backup vocals, and rough shouting: I missed the sun so we sat in the dark / This is the last time I’ll walk though that door. The conclusion brings in more yelling and some final shredding, making it an oddly-structured standout. “Was That A Mistake?” sees Scott handling more of the vocals skillfully, while more crazy riffs are present throughout the whole song. As the song softens up, Rogers’ mixed and faded vocal takes come in, It’s not that I imagined you by my side, forever and ever / It’s just that I wanted you to stay, because you were the only thing that felt like home, to set up for a huge kick of heavy drums and blaring guitar that makes for a killer ending.
Artwork by Amanda Tracy, via Facebook.