The first time an album plays, the first bits of the first song is the most illusive moment. The intro comes through, and you get a feel for the guitarist’s approach. Sometimes an arty intro really spells out an arty band; sometimes not. The vocals are the focal point. When they come in, you’re finally hearing the full band.
“Back to the Start” is the grand introduction to The Stranger’s Six debut LP A Date with Daylight. From the very get go it sounds like radio-friendly indie rock (tight guitar work; a driving beat.) But the pupils of definition go pinhole as frontman Aaron Thompson lays it on the lyrical content. Suddenly things take a bit of a Bad Religion turn. As the song progresses, it rounds out with a solid modern hardcore edge, throwing in just enough craftiness to make it interesting, but certainly not arty.
Musically, the album is solid and exciting. Thompson’s vocals envelope each track, smoothing off what are barely rough edges, tying the album together. Think Armor For Sleep in terms of music, and Alkaline Trio, vocal.
Break-up, melancholy, anger and the occasional semi-spiteful “I’m Bouncing Back” is the dominant song on this long-play. If there was a stand-out hit, it would have to be “Chopping Block.” That said, this is the type album that is so solidly ‘what it is’, it could be all hits to the right fan. Definitely worth checking out.