November 8, 2001

Test Spins: Days of the New

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Travis Meeks perpetually teeters on the fence between ambition and pretentiousness. Back in 1997, Days of the New released their eponymous debut, an album marked by oft-muted rhythmic guitar licks and Meeks’ Jim Morrison-inspired voice. Meeks then fired the other founding members and played all the instruments himself on an esoteric sophomore effort.

Days of the New returns in 2001 as a three-piece with another self-titled record. At its onset, the band blasts into the upbeat “Hang on to This” capturing a sound reminiscent of Soundgarden. Meeks returns to his usual acoustic grunge style on “Die Born,” but the song is not up to past quality. A near-highlight is the rocker “Where are You?,” a song marred by nonsense lyrics. Often considered an Alice in Chains sound-alike, Meeks actually steals a lyric from the indisposed grunge band on “Once Again.”

The album is definitely less pompous than his second release. However, the use of unnecessary orchestral interludes and Meeks’ inability to title yet another album suggests that he still has flamboyant tendencies.

Archived article by Nikhil Swaminathan