Best of 2016 Playlist

June 29, 2015

New Years Day - "Kill or Be Killed" Single Review

When you think of New Years Day, you think of the first day of the year. Others, they think of this Anaheim based band. Lead by fierce front-woman, Ashley "Ash" Costello, this is one band you don't want to over look. After years of struggles, countless members leaving and entering, this band has finally begun to find success. Their 3rd album, "Malevolence", is due for a fall release. The band is currently on Warped Tour 2015, where you can pre-order the album. But until then, you'll have to jam to their new single "Kill or Be Killed". Here's the (link) to the official music video. 

If you're not familiar with this band, then you're about to get a face full of gothic rock. In a nutshell, this band would be the love child of Paramore and Motionless in White, mixed with a little 
"The Nightmare Before Christmas", and Evanescence. If Halloween were a band, they would be New Years Day. For first time listeners I recommend "I'm No Good" or "Angel Eyes" feat. Chris from Motionless in White. Their older music, such as that seen in their debut "My Dear" is more along the lines of pop punk, emo rock. Not representative of what they've done within the last four or so years. 

The band released their "Epidemic EP" last fall, and gave fans a sneak preview of what's to come. This new single builds upon what they started then. NYD continues with their more aggressive sound, with that same edge fans have come to love. The song opens with choir like vocals chanting the track's title, with minimal drums from Nick Rossi, before the rest of the band kicks in. 

Ash produces some of the darker, angstier (is that a word? more angsty?) lyrics, and when the band is known for their theatrical, gothic style, that's saying something. The track isn't called "Kill or Be Killed" or nothing. It's clear that our favorite half red head as something to say, and she's not holding anything back. "You're so ashamed of all the monsters in your head. All of us are SICK!" is one of my favorite lines. 

There are downsides to any song though. To start, the song isn't as catchy as "Do Your Worst", "Two in the Head, One in the Chest" or "I'm No Good" (my personal favorite NYD song). Nor is it particularly interesting from a technical stand point. Standard chugged guitars make this song lose some luster, and become somewhat generic among the many other hard rock/metal songs. Ash's vocals really save the song from getting too lost so props to her for carrying the song. 

Another sad factor is that the guitar work seen in their sophomore release (sharp solos mixed with sleek rhythms), seems to have been lost with the exit of Jake Jones. And oddly enough, the song isn't as well mixed as their fall EP. The vocals dominate, but not in a bad way. The main problem is that the guitars and bass blur together into one chugging piece. Nothing in particular is highlighted, except for the vocals. And that is understandable, but there's more to a band than its front-woman. 

Summary -

A sure fan pleaser, this song proves NYD is here to stay. Amidst line up changes and label shifts, the band is still going strong with this new single. Anticipation for their 3rd album will definitely be heightened with the release of this song. Recommended for fans of Motionless in White or ICE NINE KILLS (both of whom the band toured with earlier this year). While this song isn't as ear pleasing as some of the band's previous songs, it is still a step in the right direction. As the band continues their ascent to the top, they're bringing a new, darker tone that is only surpassed by their live performances. One can only hope for the best for these guys, so good luck! 

Rating -