There aren’t many bands that change lives. Looking through the numerous comments on posts by copied-and-pasted Warped-core facsimiles on any number of social media platforms would lead you to believe otherwise, but really, the number of bands that can be said to have a true metamorphic effect on those who listen to them can be counted on one hand. Enter Cambridge five-piece Lonely The Brave, the latest band to be added to that seldom expanding list. There’s always been something so captivating about this band – this band who essentially came out of nowhere, but with just a few songs to their name, made the entire population of Britain who listened to them fall in love. Now, after two years of sitting on this album (that’s not an exaggeration either, it’s been done since 2012 but the band have been waiting since then for the right time to release it), it’s finally out to the public, and the call The Day’s War anything less than a force of nature would be a grave understatement.
Every song on The Day’s War is a work of art. Driving guitar lines fuse with an absolutely barnstorming performance, both vocally and lyrically, from frontman David Jakes to create the very best in emotive rock. And, with admittedly few catchy hooks, the fact that the album relies on the intensity and red-raw power of the vocals and still manages to thrive – and even outdo many bands who have made the typical ‘verse, chorus, verse’ style their oeuvre – is a huge achievement. The one intrinsic quality that makes the album though, is its songs, and every one is an absolute colossus. From Backroads‘ tear-jerking refrain of “if you be the sky, then I’ll be the bird!” to The Blue, The Green‘s crescendoing build-up and the overall anthemia of the impossibly massive Victory Line, it’s all real ‘would-only-be-suitable-shouted-from-a-mountaintop-at-the-top-of-your-lungs’ stuff that does nothing but favours for Lonely The Brave.
It’s rare to find an album that is truly life-affirming from start to finish, but The Day’s War is one of those rare occasions. Every track is an out-and-out masterpiece, including the post-rock intro and outro, and the acoustic, one minute and change title track, which showcases Jakes’ pained, tortured lyrics at their absolute peak. Really, they’re better on the more elegiac, grandiose tracks than when they turn up the speed or heaviness, but that’s not to say that these tracks are weak – far from it. The more post-hardcore influenced Islands and Black Saucers demonstrate the same level of power as the rest of the album, though manifests itself physically in pounding riffs rather than emotionally as is present elsewhere. These by no means detract from The Day’s War, rather they show the varied influences and chameleonic musicianship that the band possess.
The time in which Lonely The Brave have gotten by as an underground commodity is over. With this album, all possible doors have opened up for Lonely The Brave to crash headfirst into the mainstream, and be ranked amongst the other British bands who have now become household names. It shouldn’t be long before superstardom awaits.
For fans of: Pearl Jam, Biffy Clyro, Snow Patrol
Words by Luke Nuttall