Days Away: The Knitting Factory, Hollywood, CA 7.18.07
Being dropped by your label may not be the best way to start a year, but Pennsylvania band Days Away have shown that the music they make is not affected by who releases it.
Once part of the roster of Fueled By Ramen records (former indie home to Fall Out Boy and current home to “scene superstars” Panic! At the Disco, Gym Class Heroes, and Paramore), Days Away seem better off from the pop-punk label.
Taking the stage to a handful of hardcore fans at the Knitting Factory in Hollywood, they jammed, rocked, out, and brought a live sound that isn’t too common with the other bands they’ve toured with over the course of their career. Depth. The influences in their music are countless.
Most of the tracks played were from their sole full length Mapping An Invisible World. This included tracks like The Police-esque “It’s Not Over” and “T.Kline’s Decline”. The latter is an epic album closing track that starts off mellow, but underlined with a fast jungle/dance drum breakbeat underneath. Songs like “Stay the Same” are complimented with an ambient/experimental underlying guitar riff, making it different from the usual slow rock tune.
Drummer Tim Arnold is phenomenal in his drum parts, mixing jazz and electronic-like beats, accenting them with a piccolo snare drum along with his regular snare. Guitarist Jake Weiss is responsible for many of the great riffs that capture the audience and drifts them away to a different world of music. Bassist Chris Frangicetto brings big, fat, soulful bass lines and is so into his the music that his head bobbing makes you want to join in with his smooth playing. Not to mention he is also seen regularly wearing a cap, much like his brother Colin (guitarist of Circa Survive). Keyboardist Bryan Gulla adds to the mix with great piano and light synthesizer parts and even doing double duty playing guitar on a song. Finally, lead singer and guitarist Keith Goodwin completes the package with his vocals that go from soft to strong without being aggressive. He also bares a striking resemblance to this week's Billboard cover boy James Blunt...
Lead singer Goodwin seemed to be tied down to his guitar at times when he clearly wanted to interact more and get lost in the music during their set. He’d begin unwrapping the mic from the stand and walking forward while singing, but seconds later would have to put it back to continue playing his guitar. Perhaps they should go the route of This Providence (ironically, another FBR band)? They took on board an extra guitar player and the lead singer was given a chance to roam more freely and interact.
As I am not familiar with all their songs, I don’t have a full setlist, nor do I know how many songs were new. They are set to release an album before the end of the year called Ear Candy for Headphone Trippers, and will be self-released.
The band’s sound expands beyond any scene and their performances are definitely something to see live, especially their drumming. This is a band that surely does not need to be fueled by ramen, because their music will bring them much farther, and hopefully that moment is only days away.
(sidenote: Upon researching this band, I discovered their strong connection to two of my favorite bands, Saosin and Circa Survive. Bassist Chris Frangicetto is brother of Circa Survive guitarist Colin Frangicetto and lead singer Keith Goodwin is responsible for introducing Beau Burchell to Anthony Green who would go on to form Saosin. Green would later leave Saosin and form Circa Survive. Freaaaaky.)