|Day Ravies — Liminal Zones (2015)|
Day Ravies — Liminal Zones (2015) ♠ Lani Crooks’ breathy vocals feature on the bulk, including the synth–led "This Side of the Fence", which sounds like Broadcast covering Stereolab. But there are great cameos from Sam Wilkinson, who does his best Robert Forster on "Hickford Whizz"; and Caroline de Dear, whose star turn on "Halfway Up a Hill" proves this band can be both melodic and kooky.
♠ Day Ravies expertly lace together a plethora of sounds, textures, genres and decades throughout Liminal Zones, but rather than feeling unsettled, they’ll leave you giddy, euphoric and joyfully blissed out.
♠ Limited to 150 Pink Vinyl LPs. Edition of 150
♠ Limited Edition Opaque Pink 12" LP
♠ Only 150 of these pressed. Looks good spinning around, like waxen circular candy floss, made to visually fit the sugary goodness that flows out of it. OD on Day Ravies.
Location: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Album release: 2015
Record Label: Sonic Masala/Strange Pursuits
01 Fake Beach 2:40
02 Couple Days 2:06
03 This Side Of The Fence 1:43
04 Nettle 2:05
05 Immaculate Escape 2:38
06 Skewed 2:57
07 Enter The Bee 0:46
08 Nickford Whizz 3:11
09 Halfway Up A Hill 2:40
10 Steamed 3:10
11 Pulse Check 2:12
12 March Comes Around 2:58
13 Binkies 4:02
Members: Sam Wilkinson, Matt Nev, Caroline de Dear & Lani Crooks
♠ “Sydney’s Day Ravies are never boring. More than that, their music is absorbing. Even, at times, mind blowingly good. Lani Crooks, Caroline de Dear, Matt Neville and Sam Wilkinson each make major contributions to the band’s overall output. What the four–piece gives us in their sophomore full–length, Liminal Zones, is an eclectically mixed lolly bag, jam–packed with melodic flavour, sprinkled with shades of harsher noise and the odd psychedelic tendency, and completed with a generous serving of bright indie pop. In this release they consistently produce music that is fresh and invigorating. At times it is a sing–along vocal melody or an instrumental cleanser, and at others, a frolicking boogie–down hook. It’s the band’s ability to package their creative verve and instinctive feel for songwriting into a compact and interconnected set of songs that makes this release so engagingly enjoyable.
♠ There are few bands that use synth the way that Day Ravies do; it’s that beautifully consuming reverberation of solid chords that fills in all of the spaces and enriches every adjacent tone and sound. When we listen to Liminal Zones it’s not difficult to hear the influence of Stereolab — the similar production value, instrumental dynamic and, of course, that intoxicating synth. And so opening track ‘Fake Beach’ really harks back to what Stereolab became renowned for: buzzing synth, breezy, enveloping vocals that sooth and stir, and an enigmatic krautrock presence. But there is also this genuine, visceral energy in Day Ravies’ music that emanates straight from the Australian suburban underground. Hence the noisy, caustic, yet certainly measured lead guitar that is both sweeping and vicious. It’s a seriously good tune and enough to have us buying what Day Ravies are selling from the get go.
♠ Liminal Zones really does pop and bop its way around, taking on different glistening, colourful, and radiant forms throughout its 33–minute runtime. It’s stimulating to the extent that I wonder if the band is tapping into some unheard sonic frequencies. Did they just break the sound barrier? ‘This Side Of The Fence’ sounds intrinsically electronic, trance like with its warbling synth hook and the psychedelic, echoing fuzz of guitar that slides into place, only to quickly retreat. Like some form of hypnosis, Day Ravies sway us into a third dimension with looping layers and alien sounds. But later on the band gives us ‘Hickford Whizz’, a straighter irrepressible power pop tune that reflects on life’s decisions, maybe even missteps, all be it within the mundane (‘Sauce on your borrowed blazer. Crumbs growing out of your hair’). Liminal Zones is all the better for the fact that the interstellar musical exploration of the former is balanced with the catchy chord progression and pop action of the latter.
♠ ‘Steamed’ has a glossy, ‘80s ambiance fuelled by the use of drum pads and fizzing synth. ‘Halfway Up The Hill’, on the other hand, is an up–tempo salute to shoegaze that reminds me a lot of Asobi Seksu. In the chorus de Dear sings, ‘I’m starting to forget myself. I’m halfway up the hill again. I’m right back at the start again’. Telling, is her candid lyrical approach. Whether it is de Dear, Crooks (who predominantly occupies vocal duties) or Wilkinson, the vocals tend to occupy a fixed–point midway in the mix. It means that while we can often make out many of the lyrics, they just as much seep into the protruding synth and guitar. It’s a prominent feature that really pays off in line with the ‘wall of sound’ mantra that Day Ravies regularly lives by.
♠ Day Ravies explore the dichotomy of stripped back, cleaner tones and looser fuzz–charged peaks (‘Pulse Check’), the haziness of distant instrumentation (‘March Comes Around’), and the lo–fi side of ‘Fi’ (‘Nettle’). When we listen to Liminal Zones we always feel like we know what Day Ravies are doing and where they are taking us, but in all honesty we don’t; when they push harder than expected on the accelerator, take a sudden detour or slow down all together, it’s emphatic and always rewarding. In Liminal Zones the band produces a blend of instinctive and cathartic, thoroughly enjoyable indie rock. It promises to be one of the year’s best local releases.”
By C MONSTER on Jul 12 2015
♠ Get ready to head–bang HAwwwRD: Day Ravies just gave birth to their newest banger Liminal Zones on Sonic Masala Records and Strange Pursuits. With a subtlety that’ll rock and sock your smock off, Liminal Zones finds away to peel all them *eye roll* layers of hater from your heart and get feet moving and hips swaying. Harnessing equal parts rock and gaze, Day Ravies continues to conjure up a wave that’s easy to ride along with and just tall enough to keep you waiting for more. Synth buzzing. Dueling gender vocals. Drumming paces that keep the Liminal Zones energy continuous. A bassline that licks itself in every song. And guitar–work that’s like an unkempt room, “But, yeah, I got it all under control.”
♠ Unfortunately (but fortunately for sober listeners), there’s no gimmick or repeatable factors on Liminal Zones from song to song in order to play a drinking game. But who needs a game to drink? Day Ravies should just be blasting your buds constantly enough that if y’all got a Fosters on the Staten Island ferry, but the clerk said it was warm, you should still pay for it (or two) and glug–glug away before the ship captain goes “Land Ho!” Either way, Liminal Zones by Day Ravies is out TODAY on Sonic Masala Records and Strange Pursuits, and looking for listeners to sway with.
Public Score: Give it 5/5
» City: Sydney
» Sound: Yo La Tengo meets the Go–Betweens
♠ Sydneysiders Day Ravies have recently released their second LP ‘Liminal Zones’. While their first LP came in 2013, Day Ravies have proved that the wait has been worth it, as the 12 songs on ‘Liminal Zones’ are post–punk/alt rock gems.
♠ The distorted drone like guitars are present throughout, and at times things do get heavy, but for the most part ‘Liminal Zones’ treads a dreamy space of euphoric, hazey noise.
♠ The shared vocals throughout Liminal Zones immediately draws comparisons to Yo La Tengo, and gives the LP a varied sound from track to track. It is not only vocal styling that Day Ravies share with Yo La Tengo, the instrumental sections suggest that Day Ravies have taken a lot of influence from 90’s indie bands. As well as the comparisons to American indie bands, there is also a nod towards some great Australian bands. Most notably the Go–Betweens–esque track Hickford Whizz.
♠ Released through guitarist Sam Wilkinson’s own label Strange Pursuits, and on vinyl through Social Masala, ‘Liminal Zones’ is well worth checking out. The band has already supported some big international acts in Australia, and is currently on their own headlining tour around Australia’s East Coast. Catch them while they are hot!
BY DARREN LEVIN | JULY 6TH, 2015 10:41:AM EST | SCORE: ***½
By Kate Ross
|Day Ravies — Liminal Zones (2015)|