If you have a striking name, which Daycare For Jedi does, it is not a bad thing to back it up with a sound which grips attention with equal strength, and that is certainly what the Danish pop punksters have as evidenced by their debut EP Worst Things First. Uncaging four songs which are as contagious as they are inventively sculpted, the release is a magnet for ears and imagination, not one re-inventing the pop punk arena but one certainly giving it something fresh and tenacious to think about.
Formed in 2014, the Aarhus quartet openly embraces the origins of pop punk whilst giving it their own, if not startling, certainly invigorating twist. Early songs such as Throwing Dirt and Last Pages sparked eager intrigue and appetites to their potent emergence and sound whilst their live presence, which made its debut at the Distortion Festival in Copenhagen in the band’s first year, has only cemented and pushed their reputation for unleashing seriously energetic, hook laden, and intense rock ‘n’ roll. The early songs were a teaser of things to come, of the thoroughly enjoyable and impressive Worst Things First which should put Daycare For Jedi on broader genre maps from hereon in.
The Jacob Hansen recorded EP opens up with Outcome, quickly entangling ears in a web of melodic enterprise and sonic suggestiveness. Quickly riffs and forceful rhythms are joining the affair, as too the potent tones of vocalist Jens Erik, his expressive voice a magnetic lure alongside the resourceful endeavour of his and Mikkel Rohde’s guitar play. There is a touch of bands like Millencolin and Blink 182 to the song, but nothing too strong amidst other spices of familiarity in sound and texture. It all adds up to a strong and engaging start to the EP but just a taster to bigger things which start with its successor.
Broken Bones instantly flirts with a stirring rhythmic coaxing, its bait soon joined by great niggly hooks and an infectious raw caress of riffs. Into its even more energy driven stride, the song soon employs a great mix of vocals from across the band around the again inviting delivery of Jens Erik, whilst around them the heavier dark throated bass of Jacob and the crisp beats of Kristian provide intimidating contrast. Again the canvas of the song has a recognisable flavour but it is the inventive twists and turns, musically and vocally, which bring the track alive and into its creative own, as with the following Sinking Adventure. It too is a swiftly engaging and persistent protagonist unafraid to infuse its more straight forward spine with sparkling melodic imagination and juicy hooks aligned to fiercer adventure and unpredictable revelry.
Worst Things First increasingly impresses and grows stronger with every song, the third a potent peak but quickly eclipsed by the closing Gain And Lose, a light-footed agitation of infectious devilry shaped with sonic radiance and aggressive rhythms. The bass brews a delicious dirty tone whilst the vocals, singularly and united, have a slight belligerence to them which only lifts the song to greater impact and rigorous persuasion. The best song on the EP, it is a rich and thrilling climax to one thoroughly enjoyable encounter.
It is still early days for Daycare For Jedi but Worst Things First suggests not only are they heading in the right direction but they have the potential to become one of those names a genre is especially noted for.
The Worst Things First EP is available from August 3rd via Prime Collective.