Rockin' Their Way to the Top

Wasted Days (Independent)
Wasted Days

By Kevin Gibson

No great fan of the alt-metal, modern hard rock, nu-metal or whatever it's being called these days, I do like it when a band from this or any genre can take a step back, draw a deep breath and get over itself. Wasted Days is one of those bands, or so it sounds to me from listening to its self-titled debut.

The Louisville-based quintet, with former Superface front man Chris Davis on lead vocals, has collected and recorded 12 tight, radio-ready songs that never fail to get the job done - meaning, as the youngsters today might say, they rock your balls off and don't let up. Better, while it's true that to the uneducated ear this band sounds quite a lot like the many other bands playing this brand of music on the radio these days, there's a knowing wink and a smile living deep within the music that tells me these guys know exactly what they're doing. (The group even exhibits a good sense of humor; in the liner notes, following the requisite lengthy list of "thank yous," is this message: "If we missed you, call Disc Makers; it's their fault.")

Anyway, Wasted Days and producer Chris Cassetta have created what is arguably the perfect radio-metal album of 2005. Replete with plenty of crunch and the occasional pulsing guitar throb that serves as a bridge between intro and verse or verse and instrumental, the songs also demonstrate a keen sensibility for melody.

For instance, the five-minute-long "Stay" is a pounding, metallic ball of energy that rides on an unrelenting wave of yearning and earnest that Davis brings out brilliantly with his pleading vocal. A softly ringing guitar-only interlude then sets the stage for an aural assault that could cause a mosh pit to spontaneously erupt in the middle of a supermarket.

And "Nothing Without You" pulls off the heavy rock ballad without sacrificing its persona - this isn't Motley Crue selling its nuts to the airwaves in "Home Sweet Home;" it's more in the vein of the Scorpions' "No One Like You." In other words, it's a good rock band offering us a brief respite in song, along with a nugget of acknowledgment that a good pop song is a good pop song is a good pop song, even when the amps are turned up to 11.

All in all, what this album boils down to is a way for WD to market itself to the public and to A&R folks everywhere while honing its chops for the next big audition. It's potentially a tough road ahead because there's a lot of competition in the genre, but the hard part is already taken care of - Wasted Days is already a damn good band.

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