Release DetailsLABEL Equal Vision
RELEASED ON 10/7/1997
The Day The Sun Went Out
posted on 1/2006 By:
After signing Delaware hardcore outfit Boysetsfire, Equal Vision made a point of establishing the band’s storied history by first releasing a collection of early demo material. Consider this reissue of Boysetsfire’s third album, The Day the Sun Went Out, in a similar vein. Nevertheless, there’s no reason why both loyal fans and those new to Nathan Gray and company can’t benefit from this solid if not wholly necessary offering. Comparisons to D.C. ‘core trendsetters Fugazi are inevitable, and not without good reason. The drive, punch, and impassioned swivel of blazing guitars and half sung, half shouted vocals easily invites such comparisons, which is hardly the most terrible thing to be said of any album or group. Also like Fugazi, the musicianship, while not direly wanting of talent, is far less important than the emotion conveyed in ballsy performance and unique song structure. These guys live and breathe the air of dissent, rebellion, and political consciousness, as heard most clearly on “The Power Remains the Same,” and are clearly unafraid of expressing these facets of their lives. While this approach to songwriting is hardly new or trailblazing, Gray either writes with a more subtle pen or sings with less cheap force than other politically aware frontmen, because the material on this album sounds startlingly refreshing at times. As might be expected from an album produced by a band still finding its footing, The Day the Sun Went Out is not without its shortcomings. Rather than maintaining a level of excellence throughout, the album goes through both a few peaks and a few low points as it proceeds toward its end. I didn’t really feel the band’s desire to establish a unique sound until the album’s third track, “The Fine Art of Falling.” Both “Pure” and “Cringe” are serviceable tracks, but hardly worthy of opening what ultimately proves to be a testosterone-driven, vein-pulsating hardcore album. While “Pure” ends on a high point, it takes too long to pick up the pace, and “Cringe,” despite the pretty cool riff that weaves itself throughout the track, falls a bit flat in comparison to the rest of the album. However, with scorching hardcore like that found on “Another Badge of Courage” and venomous, scathing political rants like “The Power Remains the Same,” The Day the Sun Went Out ultimately stays afloat and goes out in style. Guitarists Joshua Latshaw and Chad Istvan lace the album with enough weird note candy to satisfy the sweetest of sweet teeth, and Gray’s raw energy proves manic enough to entertain through nearly all of the album’s 12 songs. If you're one of the hardcore faithful, you won't be disappointed if you pick up this album the next time you're at your favorite record store, but if you're new to Boysetsfire, you might want to check out the lengthier and more diverse sounding collection of early material, Before the Eulogy. If you digest that album well enough, you can't go wrong by progressing to this one.
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