Days Like These – Wide Awake
Released: May 14, 2021
Callen Batson // vocals
Noah Murphy // drums/vocals
Connor Robins // bass
Jamo Benadie // guitar
Russell Hodgson // guitar
Ever since I heard ‘The Absolute’ way back in the beginning of 2019, Brisbane upcomers Days Like These have kinda stuck at the forefront of my mind, waiting patiently for what they’re about to unleash next. The band’s follow up single, ‘The Antidote’ served its purpose at the time and kept everyone on their toes for what’s brewing. After speaking with vocalist Callen Batson and drummer Noah Murphy back before COVID, the boys revealed that they’re always looking for ways to evolve and push their musical limits as much as possible. They’re heavily driven by their peers and the environment around them, but oh boy, has biding their time on the sidelines paid off. If their earlier releases didn’t quite drag you in, then the band’s debut EP, Wide Awake will definitely hold your attention onto one of Brisbane’s hardest working acts. Let’s take a look!
Wide Awake kicks off with the heavy hitting ‘Disassociate’ and it’s clear after the first verse that metalcore runs in these guys’ veins. Guitarists Russell Hodgson and Jamo Benadie are a delight here, their thundering riffs igniting the track whilst still on the sidelines. ‘Inflection’ drops into a similar tangent, all while adding some intense, soaring vocals by frontman Callen. Tying it altogether with a grungey pop element to the band’s vast sonic landscape, I honestly cannot get enough of this track, and this is a superb standout so early on in the EP.
Out to test their boundaries, Days Like These opt for a change of pace with sugar-coated alt-rock anthem, ‘Honey’. Batson’s vocals enter an almost haunting almost ballad-like ambience, and acts as quite the stark contrast to the hard-hitting guitars. I love the musical palette they’ve brought to the table on this EP, particularly on this song — while it does straddle alternative/pop territory, it’s still got that rocky edge. These guys definitely know how to make themselves stand out! The catchy alternative rock melodies soar even higher on ‘Gravity’ — and what a fitting title this is. Featuring a groovy nu-metal kick that acts as the song’s driving force, ‘Gravity’ sees the band soar into the stratosphere delivering their own ‘core anthem to listeners.
The grungey, nu-metal style is blended together and felt even more on ‘High & Glow’. A song about Callen’s experience with toxic partying and a subtle hint of 90s rave culture, this one feels like the offspring of a cool combination of some of Australia’s notable metalcore acts. If Northlane and Ocean Grove had a baby, this would be the outcome! I can definitely see festival punters getting down on the dancefloor to those pulsating beats because this song was destined for bigger stages.
Coming full circle with ‘Forget Your Face’, Days Like These bring it back to their rockier roots for an edgy yet wholesome final touch. Don’t let the shimmery, acoustic feel on the intro fool you though. It gradually builds into a thumping post-hardcore rock anthem, the soaring cleans taking centre stage one last time before the song fades into darkness. It kinda gives you a bit of a what’s next… moment, if you will.
Not ones to stay inside the box, Days Like These have absolutely tested their limits on this captivating debut EP. Wide Awake is proof that good things do take time to flourish, and these Brisbane upcomers have fine tuned their sound exquisitely, taking the best aspects of alternative rock, metalcore and grunge and putting their own spin on things. Each track will definitely have you coming back for even more as they really did keep us on our toes, and only time will tell where the boys are headed next. A sold out show? I guess, opening for Polaris is a solid next step.
Days Like These – Wide Awake EP tracklisting:
5. High & Glow
6. Forget Your Face