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Greatdayforup | Solace | split | review | rock | Lollipop


by Brian Varney

This disc was my first exposure to Greatdayforup, and I've gotta admit that if not for their appearing on a split CD with the mighty Solace, I might not've been exposed to them at all. At least not yet. Upon scanning the liner notes, I was excited to see that backing vocals on the GDFU tracks were provided by Jonah Jenkins (Only Living Witness, Miltown, Milligram), one of my favorite singers, and also a swell guy. It soon became apparent why they asked Jonah to appear, as lead singer Michael Diaz bears quite a vocal resemblance to Mr. Jenkins. I suppose you could compare the band to Milligram as well, but without the hardcore or brutal Japanese noise-psych influences. What all of this means is that Greatdayforup writes snappy and memorable songs, surprisingly so for a heavy rock band, and stomps the fuck out of them with a brutally heavy non-metal attack. I hear they've signed to Small Stone, and I anxiously await a full-length slab.

Solace are one of the best rock bands in the land, but due to almost comically bad luck, they've yet to reach the heights of which they're capable. Persistent personnel problems (exploding drummers and the like) have made for sporadic releases and uneven live performances, but with the current twin-axe lineup seemingly stable, hopefully big things are forthcoming. The three tracks here show the band experimenting with some new styles to nice effect. The nicely bombastic "Hammerhead" is a Rare Bird cover but sounds like it could easily be a Solace original, while "Cement Stitches" is the band's first overt nod to previously unseen hardcore roots. They both make full use of the band's secret weapon, vocalist Jason. He's one of the best singers around, with a voice that can go from a solemn Ian Curtis baritone to a wailing Chris Cornell banshee shriek with all the apparent effort of blowing one's nose. Great singers are rare, rarer even among bands such as these, and I hope Solace is able to keep him around. Things close up with a cover of Link Wray's "Rumble," five or so minutes containing a couple hundred guitar solos. Of course, when you've got guitarists like Tommy Southard and Justin Skyler Daniels, I'm not complaining.

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