Daisy Face – Slow Approaching Nothing

Every now and then, you have an EP land in your lap and you have to write about it immediately. This has happened to me a lot lately. The most recent variation on this them is the Slow Approaching Nothing EP by Daisy Face. I have heard about this band here and there, but I haven’t caught them live and missed out on their first EP. Everyone told me that I’d love them, that they were total shoegazing stuff I could really dig into and I should check them out. Well, they were right in one of those aspects, I do love them, the new mini-album is pretty brilliant. Where they weren’t correct is that they are “shoegazing”, I mean I don’t really know, I haven’t seen them live, I don’t know if they stare at their shoes while they play, they might–but, from the sound of the new record, it seems like a band that has too much energy to stare at their feet for very long, if at all. Maybe this is NuGaze, I don’t know. See, while I may have grown up in the 80s, my ears grew up in the 90s and I was there for the era of Shoegazing and the likes of Slowdive, Swerverdriver, Ride and others, at the same time Grunge was happening over here. I will give Daisy Face this–they clearly honor the sounds of the 90s in spades, but they do it well and they possibly do it better. They do it without sounding derivative, they combine and recombine sounds to the point where it’s clear that they were raised on a fine blend of American Indie Rock and British Shoegaze and have coalesced the two into a sound that never occurred back then. Which is odd, because it should of, but still the closest that ever came was a band called Codeine on SubPop and I don’t even know if these guys have heard of them. They called themselves “slowcore” and I think that would be more apt here. Then again, I saw Codeine a couple times and they totally stared at their Converse shoes.

All that being said, Slow Approaching Nothing is a fantastic EP or mini-album, it’s a little long for an EP, actually. Also, I want to make it clear that there is no disrespect in my shoegaze talk above, it’s just that no shoegaze band ever went all out indie rock like Daisy Face does in “Closing Window”, “Kerosene” and the title track. “Big Sky” is the opener and it has a hypnotic guitar line in the beginning that reminds me of the Foo Fighters, which is actually nice, because no one is doing that anywhere in town. The song is just a total fucking rocket though and takes off and in unsuspected directions. The entire band just seems really focused on the sound they are trying to create– Adam Reed on Bass/Vocals, Aron Towner on Guitar, Brad Blakemore on Guitar/Vocals, and Shane Taylor on Drums all seem to be giving their most for a sound they love. Right from the start there is a very heavy 1990s vibe and you feel like you might catch this song late at night on MTV when they played videos. “Closing Window” is easily one of my favorite tracks found here. From the pounding drums to the feedback laden guitar, to the vocals that recall mid period Soul Asylum, it’s another great rocker and should be in consideration for a single. There is also a sense of early Screaming Trees and a touch of Buffalo Tom here, if anyone remembers who they were. I have to admit that “Traveler” is legitimately shoegazey, and with a running length of over six minutes they are definitely owning up to it. Still it comes off more as the slowcore variation on the theme and it’s goddamned brilliant–I can only imagine that this particular number is downright majestic when performed live. I love the soft implosions and feedback explosions, this is texture rich in an array of sonic layers that have been missing from music for a bit too long.

“Kerosene” is another serious favorite of mine found here. My favor for it starts when the drums go crazy and they sing “A cancer is growing…” at about 33 seconds in and the song just becomes an instant classic to me after that. I suspect this will be a new favorite song for my mind to start playing out of context while I’m out walking or skating. I’m good with that. The title track is equally fantastic, though I’m not sure it’s quite as catchy, but only time will tell on that aspect. I’ve listened to the mini-album a dozen times and haven’t really walked away from it, so I’ll only know in a week or so what is really the most catchy material here. Still, this is a stunning track from beginning to end, like listening to a feedback washed apocalypse in four minutes. The finale, “Shrinking Shoreline” is another legitimate shoegaze/slowcore number and yet another that I think would be a transcendental experience live. Daisy Face get’s heaviest with their slowest numbers and washes it in coatings of fuzz and feedback to an amazing proportion. The entire mini-album has a perfect balance to it that will work for its cassette release on Rubber Brothers records. Each side has two rocking numbers punctuated by a heavy slow dose of feedback laden balledry of sorts. The songs are great and the construction of the EP/Mini-Album is just as good. Now I have to go back and listen to the four song debut from Daisy Face, their Dirt EP, because I’m pretty sure I missed out on something great and I need to catch up. After that, my next mission will be to catch them live, very soon.