Emerald and Doreen, out now.
The Dayoffs are all about that youthful whimsy – even their name suggests a childlike joy most of us may have forgotten. On that note, it’s fun to guess what names they considered before settling; The Snowdays, The Insetdays, or The BankholidayMondays surely would’ve had the same effect. The project itself seems to be the result of joyously unexpected time off; producers Atsuo Matsumoto and Vladimir Komarov got together over a love of Teenage Fanclub between work hours at a Manhattan-based studio.
On their self-titled album, the Dayoffs stick loads of fast and furious 80s/90s pop rock groups into a blender until they form a gooey, shiny paste. Popping shades of Bob Mould and Sugar’s brighter side show up on Love Love Love and Bottled Rainwater. Skittish sprinkler percussion drives Two Actors in a Cage, as a grazed septum vocal imagines a nightmare vision of The Smiths as fronted by Liam Gallagher. Yet, despite its haunting of ghosts from alternative rock’s past, Next to Nothing appears to emulate those same 90s rock icons during their hit and miss electronic years.
It’s not unusual to find today’s musicians taking apart what they loved of alternative rock’s halcyon days; it’s more common to find groups lifting elements wholesale. Rarely do you find a group taking themselves less seriously about it. Matsumoto and Komarov seem to have had so much fun with their brief nostalgia project that I wouldn’t be surprised to find them parted for good after it was over. Much like a surprise day off, there’s only so much fun to be had before school the next day.