Somewhere around 2010 there was a sudden uptick in emo bands which emphasized the heartfelt lines and brisk guitar work of their 90’s counterparts. This persisted across the next few years and then bands began to die out. It’s hard enough to survive on a college kid budget let alone fund a band on one.
That’s why it’s almost surprising to see a few guys from Buffalo, New York still pumping out their heartfelt tunes. Del Paxton, which got rolling in 2013, has been on the scene for quite some time now, but their latest album, All Day, Every Day, All Night seems like a priceless relic to say the least. Del Paxton harkens back to bands like American Football or Capn’ Jazz, their latest album clearly draws from these musicians and even builds upon them with some curious, Alkaline Trio-esque flirtations and a well-managed sense of individuality. While I’d like to beat around the bush by calling All Day, Every Day, All Night some genius musicianship, I’d rather be clear in stating –it’s a damn fine listen.
Del Paxton opens up loud and furious with “My Other” –percussion barrages you, guitars begin with a moderate pace but with purpose. The song juxtaposes itself and quiets down before unleashing another burst –allowing the guitars more freedom to play as the vocals go to work. Through shouts and harmonies the song ends its tantrum with a dive into rhythmic slowness. “My Other” is a stellar, no bull opening that introduces Del Paxton’s music as a proper tribute to emo. Its love/dependency premise is straightforward and not excessively flowery. It’s a genuine approach at least and great execution otherwise. “Wrong Distance” follows up, maybe more punk, but a bit burnt, an exhausted sentimentality. Across echoing, “Long drive away”s being sung out against a mix of twinkly guitars or distorted chords. A decent sequence that keeps you drawn to the album.
All Day, Every Day, All Night moves through to track three, “Koolwink,” and if Del Paxton hadn’t began to win you over yet, here they seal the deal. The song begins quick with a poppy percussion accompanying some hollered lines. The song has a melancholic-chipperness to it. The vocals make their way through monotone poetics to shouts –on one hand I want to call it Snowing, on the other, it’s a bit of a cheap thrill like The Offspring –but there’s nothing wrong with a good guilty pleasure. Del Paxton keeps up with the guilty pleasures in their next track, “Take it to the Limit.” It sounds, almost comically, like some Yellowcard-esque alternative. If it was too catchy for you, the song breaks itself and surges forward with a strumming bass. Guitar breaks in and begins to repair the song. It becomes reminiscent of Algernon Cadwallader and it’s gone.
Admittedly, as a long time emo fan I may be biased and so I have to insist that I tend to over-forgive the next few tracks. From track five onward, All Day, Every Day, All Night becomes a lackluster blur. “Sixes and Sevens” fails to stand out against such a strong slew of opening tracks –the added shouts towards the end of the track sound calculated. “Coast to Coast” is an odd take on ambient that seems ill fitting if not just plain awkward. “Loose Leaf” is desperately in need of something to make it memorable even. Still –making it half way before having to toss out any weak material isn’t bad. It seems as if Del Paxton does either really good or not so well –but as an enthusiastic fan of the genre, I find it difficult to call out any significant fault with All Day, Every Day, All Night.
Before the band calls it quits, they toss out two excellent closers. “Greenhouse” begins to put the final touches on the album. It begins slow, alternating between vocals and busy guitar interludes. Then the song builds in momentum, incorporating repeating guitar alongside a thick bass. Speed increases and the vocals come in, “All day, every day, all night.” The sequence is hypnotic and as the song comes to an end, you find yourself fine-tuned for listening. “Primetime” caps the album off well beginning with crisp guitar supporting whiny, sorrowful vocals. The song drums up energy as it moves along. The vocals find themselves pouring out their heart out through tale and melody. The sense of emotional exhaustion that builds throughout the highs and lows of “Primetime” is moving. And then in the final thirty seconds, the album finds its finish.
With the current course of music, I didn’t think there would be room to say, “____ is my favorite emo album of 2017,” but frankly, Del Paxton sets the precedent. All Day, Every Day, All Night is everything that makes emo lovable. The guitar work is superb –jumping between distorted interludes to a articulate, twinkly series of lines that mimic something more mathy. At times, it’s reminiscent of Sunny Day Real Estate, while still evoking more recent performance a la Dads or Joyce Manor. Del Paxton takes their Kinsella brother influences and adds a touch of modern genius –creating some of the most compelling emo music within the past few years.