Although Daylight Is Coming is Lincoln, Nebraska indie pop rock band Remedy Drive's debut effort on Word Records, these guys are no rookies when it comes to making music. With a list of indie releases already under their belts, the all-brother band hooked up with acclaimed artist/producer Ian Eskelin for their label debut, which helps bring out the best elements of the band's piano-driven pop rock sound.
Daylight Is Coming is a lush pop record with lyrical themes that shape the release into nothing less than a soundtrack for hope. From the title track's encouraging chorus, "Hold on, daylight is coming" to the anthemic cries of "Hope's not giving up, in the cold dark night she's not giving up" in "Hope," Remedy Drive knows how to inspire listeners to persevere through even the darkest of times. The album bursts out of the gate with "Stand Up," establishing the band's sound as sort of an All Star United meets Mute Math, but fashioned a bit more for melodic pop audiences. However, you'd probably never get that impression from their frenzied live performance that nearly harnesses the kind of energy you'd find at a Mute Math show. But the Zach brothers' musical abilities compliment each other nicely for creating a piano pop rock record that doesn't sound run-of-the-mill or cliched like many other similar acts out there. Daylight Is Coming is a melody rich record with a fair share of highlights throughout.
One thing that helps Remedy Drive stand out from the pack is David Zach's unique vocal styling that may capture a hint of The Wallflowers' Jakob Dylan, but ultimately isn't just riding the trends to be another copy of Scott Stapp or Adam Levine. Also, the Zachs have loaded their debut with enough lyrical meat to not feel underwhelmed after only a few listens. From love ("All Along") and hope ("Daylight," "Hope," "The Sunshine Above The Weather"), to loneliness and emptiness ("Belong With You," "Heartbeat") or desiring more out of life ("What Happens," "Something Made To Last"), Remedy Drive covers an array of feelings and emotions, all the while providing an optimistic outlook on it all. And while Daylight Is Coming isn't the most outwardly spiritual release of the year, Remedy Drive chooses less direct, but still clear ways of displaying their faith, as evidenced in "Heartbeat" ("God I'm getting tired of the way I feel / When I would rather be alive"), "Get To Know You" ("I'd say it's time that I get to know you / More then just what I've been told / I'd say it's time that I get to know you / I want to know from my soul"), and especially the worshipful "The Sunshine Above The Weather" ("The sunshine above the weather / Always and forever / Your love will remain / My rock and mighty fortress / I'm walking in your promise / Your love will remain"). Even the closer, "Valuable," serves as a love letter from Jesus to us, "I bridged the gap you see / I'll supply your every lack and need / To bring you back to me / You're so valuable / Child can't you see / You're worth more than all the world to me."
Daylight Is Coming's biggest problem may be that it seems to end too quickly. After its eleventh track, the album isn't even thirty-five minutes long. On the upside, Daylight Is Coming leaves you wanting more, which is a much better problem to have than for it to feel overlong by a song or two. Also, the album doesn't quite capture the feel of the band's live performance. You might expect a more rock-heavy or raw sound from a band with a show like theirs. The melodic, softer vibe that Daylight Is Coming presents may come as a bit of a shock at first if you seem them live before hearing the recording. But either way, Remedy Drive's debut is rather a gift that keeps on giving, considering that it's not an album you're likely to tire of too quickly. Lastly, and of least importance, it's tough to not want to ask what the deal is with the minimalistic and uninspired album cover art. While the art has little bearing on the actual music itself, a good record can be enhanced by the visual art that accompanies it. Sadly, this is not the case here.
With Daylight Is Coming, Remedy Drive establishes themselves as one of the best new artists linked to the Christian market in 2008. With one of the most genuine, uplifting, and encouraging records in recent memory, this rock quartet proves they have something to say that's worth hearing. And coupled with a fantastic live show, there's no hesitation in stating that Remedy Drive is a band to keep an eye on for the near future.- PReview date: 7/31/08, Review date: 8/24/08, written by John DiBiase
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