On Notes, A Day in Black and White's debut full-length, they get to point quickly; in one minute and twenty seconds to be precise. After an at-times impressive first release, My Heroes Have Always Killed Cowboys released on Level Plane in 2004, A Day in Black and White looked like it would slowly join the hardcore-band graveyard as member changes plagued the band the year following that release. With resilience though, guitar player Daniel Morse was able to alleviate this quick death in the form of new members and a more mature sound.
With an EP, My Heroes Have Always Killed Cowboys , which often sounded like the b-sides to a City of Caterpillar record or a Godspeed You! Black Emperor practice tape, and a split 10" with Navies that sounded like a live version of Pavement songs under their belt, A Day in Black and White finally does itself justice on Notes with a much more original record than their previous material.
As Notes begins "Tinnitus" rings out in a haze of somber noise, and you get the feeling that Morse and company have no time to spare as they jump right into "A Literal Title," which is accentuated with the loquaciously fast drumming of Ian Thompson over the Sonic Youth-esque guitar playing by Morse and Aaron Leitko. Further into the record and especially on "Lame Duck" you get the feeling that A Day in Black and White might have been listening to Daydream Nation a bit much on the road in Europe. As Notes comes to an end you get the closest to an old A Day in Black and White song on "Ronald's Right." The song matches the intensity of the songs on My Heroes Have Always Killed Cowboys with the Fugazi-like bass lines of their new songs provided by Mike Petillo, and proves that A Day in Black and White never intended on a complete overhaul but developed into a more mature sound.
Throughout Notes A Day in Black and White keep the pace like a jogger, never overexerting themselves and falling into hardcore clichÃÂ©s or divulging into faulty canyons of somber post-punk. Where tension built on My Heroes Have Always Killed Cowboys was exulted in a roar of distortion and screams, the tension on Notes is quickly deflated and finds it's way into the infectious hooks that A Day in Black and White string along through the album.
Notes scarcely strays from consistent mid-paced rock and roll numbers, which, if you're a fan of their old material might push you to bitching on message boards, but if your into creative rock and roll that is influenced by the likes of Sonic Youth and Fugazi this is right up your alley.
8.0 / 10
Looking for the SPB logo? You can download it in a range of styles and colours here:
Click anywhere outside this dialog to close it, or press escape.