[Review] DAY6 successfully invoke 80s rock in “Days Gone By”

Almost six months after their title track “Shoot Me“, the second part of DAY6’s ‘Youth‘ series is upon us. Beyond the sequential numbering of the mini-albums, there doesn’t seem to be a huge musical thread running between the two projects. But, as strong as the material has been, I’m not too concerned with continuity.

On several occasions, DAY6 have released b-sides and album tracks that tackle a more upbeat, synth-driven sound. I’ve always hoped they would draw on this for a title track, and now that day has come. “Days Gone By” is a surging pastiche of 80’s rock, and I couldn’t be happier. There’s not a remotely original bone in its body, but that’s not what the guys are going for. Instead, they nail the aspects that make this kind of song so enjoyable.

The chugging guitar that opens the track is pure heaven. It feels plagiarized from any number of new wave hits, but giddily deposits you right into that era. This is built upon by surges of retro synth that give the verses a bright bounce and contribute to a brief — but excellent — post-chorus breakdown. “Days Gone By”’s melody has a supple simplicity to it, buoyed by spot-on 80’s vocal filters. Like the song as a whole, it’s not an ambitious construction, but it tugs in all the right places and feels absolutely refreshing in 2018. The rhythmic pre-chorus perfectly leads into the anthemic swell that follows, creating a one-two punch that’s highly effective.

I’m sure there will be those who prefer a more modern approach to DAY6’s music, but for an 80’s lover like me, “Days Gone By” is a wonderful end-of-year gift.

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