Day Without Dawn - Day Without Dawn - Independent 2006
Running Time: 16:28
When New Jersey's The Postman Syndrome called it a day after one album, I wondered how the members of such an eclectic group would ever find a home playing in another ensemble. 2002's Terraforming was a jagged Converge does Modest Mouse affair, earning The Postman Syndrome mention alongside Dillinger Escape Plan and Dysrhythmia in many shortlists of the scene's brightest hopes.
Alas, this misplaced hope comes back for round two, Day Without Dawn not only featuring four- fifths of The Postman Syndrome lineup, but a slightly less chaotic sound to boot, winning over the masses with more finesse than ferocity, as in opener "The Fall". Frail vocals are borne upon tides of plaintive piano, spidery guitars winding in and out of the desparation until eventually pounding out some of the EP's more heavy riffwork, all fractured and weary, but never losing sight of the song or lacking power. The interplay between the instruments in Day Without Dawn is a major artistic benefit, each musician playing to the strengths of the others whether kicking out some dense artcore mayhem ("Inquisition") or layering washes of neo-Britpop guitars (think Travis does Swervedriver) in "The Plea". Gossamer string harmonies gently pull us from the abbreviated instrumental of "In The Holding Cell" to the finale of "The Acquittal", the sheer beauty of vocal harmony and cohesion of sound being busy enough to hold interest, but open enough to lose yourself in, should that be your desire.
In the span of just over a quarter-hour, Day Without Dawn manages to both evoke all that's worthy of today's indie-rock scene. It would (and has) taken faux-progmo poster boys Coheed And Cambria entire albums to do as much.