As I make my way through the back door of my home, I noticed the inevitable leaves that never make it into the endless bags I fill every fall. There is also very light dusting of snow, reminding me that colder times are rolling in like the morning fog. As I stare up towards the cloudy grey horizon, I get a chill as I embrace the moment. In a matter of seconds, a million thoughts race through my head. It’s as if I tapped into the repository of lifetime memories . It would be a daunting endeavor to put into words, but I am sure all of us have had a similar moment at some point. Life has been busy, and somehow Day Room infiltrated that moment I just explained. As I stepped into my car, I knew I had to play the Day Room cassette. It’s funny how that was what I decided to play. I have played it routinely since receiving the cassette over the later part of summer. The grey skies, cold weather and even the dusting of the snow reflects or better yet summons the very essence of Day Room’s charm. The guitars expand the environment with an open feel of spatial rhythms strumming relentlessly while expressing a multitude of emotions as each song plays through. The restrained vocals pair well with the music. The sound finds plenty of influence and inspiration from the darker parts of the 80’s from Joy Division’s “New Dawn Fades” track to Comsat Angels’ Chasing Shadows era.
Day Room was the precursor for Scott Ferguson’s current project Swan Wash. Day Room only played three live shows back in 2017. This cassette is a posthumous release of its only studio recording. Like Swan Wash, Day Room’s self-titled release is packed with solid songs hidden the vast landscape of basement artists trying to penetrate beyond the walls of obscurity. That very line is the drive I have to constantly explore and discover some of these hidden gems that get lost into the ever-saturated world of DIY expression. Similar to Swan Wash, Day Room’s lyrical content is difficult to decipher. The themes seem to revolve mostly around personal experiences revealed in abstract messages disguised as routine happenings. I dig this approach, but it can be torturous wanting to know what the song is truly about. “Cliffside Bleak” is an addicting piece that engulfs the listener into a world of revelry merged with contemporary influences. I found myself drawn to this track initially more than any of the others probably because of the distant echos of Joy Division’s bass prowess and the gloomy twanging that goes hand in hand with the foundations of post punk. “Anxiety” is another track that left my mind to wander around trying to comprehend lines like “Solitary paradise on a trundle bed!” or ” While the voluntary eunuchs throw the rest of themselves on the wall every time”. This is another example of that lyrical style. It appears random, but being familiar with the artist just enough to know there are hidden meanings to this personal experience perhaps reserved for the artist himself. “Anxiety” really opens the expansive feel of the music. Under the carapace of post punk “Anxiety” blends in shoegazy elements that mesmerize and ultimately bring the listener to surrender themselves to the ensuing enchanting rhythms.
Day Room’s offering will delight the sonic explorers that yearn for something familiar yet do it in a way that is their own. Check out Sister Cylinder’s label. If you appreciated this you may want to explore Swan Wash, Babies In The Bardo and Kam Kama.