Liminal Zones could be blasted out of your Chevy Biscayne rolling down Beach Boulevard on some parts, on others, listened to lounging on your couch in half-slumber, and then again in moments rocking out at a house party. Feeling spoilt for choice, or perhaps just a little confused? Be the former, and then some.
The album is the colourful exploit of Sydney-based four-piece Day Ravies, whose name gives a distinctive nod to The Kinks’ lead singer. Arriving as the follow-up to the band’s 2013 debut LP album Tussle, Liminal Zones stitches together floaty soundscapes and interlaces them with a droning, discordant smack of overdrive.
Day Ravies expertly lace together a plethora of sounds, textures, genres and decades throughout Liminal Zones, but rather than feeling unsettled, they’ll leave you giddy, euphoric and joyfully blissed out.
The whole album comes in at just 33 minutes, but Day Ravies manage to squeeze in several generations’ worth of music, seamlessly transcending through 60s rock to 90s pop, punctuated by shoegaze dream and indie-pop, synth distortion and hypnotic vocals. On paper, this sounds unsettling, but on record they just limber you into it without so much as a whimper, never making you feeling disconcerted by being rollercoastered through all those decades. Instead they leave you giddy, euphoric and joyfully blissed out.
Opener Fake Beach is translucent and dreamy, the very best kind of shoegaze, with gently lulling vocals, accented with just enough guitar rips to keep you from forgetting that this band can make you do and feel more than just stare introspectively earthwards. Because of course with Day Ravies, it’s never that simple.
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Pulse Check is one of those perfect examples of contradictions that pitch you back and forth from vibrant, feel-good beach-pop into skewered, harsh distortion, all coming crashing into a heady culmination. Likewise, Halfway Up A Hill mashes up glimmering, ethereal melodies and intersects them with harsh distortion. It’s eclectic and dizzying, but kinda nice to know that dream-pop vocals won’t always be left alone to be glistening summer sun and rapturous transcendence.
Skewed is a symphony of distortion, elongated and drone-y lyrics to lull you into a couch-bound fog. Equally, Steamed comes slathered in synth and hypnotic vocals. And This Side Of The Fence is buzzy and hazily discontent, heavy on the synth, repeating layers of distortion that wail and build into a wall of sound that reverberates through your very being.
But just when you think you’ve slid into a nest of overdrive, they pull you up from a synth-y soundscape and thrust you into Hickford Whizz, all cheerful indie pop, heady college days, and danceable, jangling guitar, or soothe you into the summer throwbacks and pretty, breathy melodies of Binkies.
Nettle is cheerful retro rock: a killer bassline heeded by shimmering synths that drown you with the urge to dance, climaxing in full-blown assailment full of melancholia that will make you ache for your youth. But that’s all part of the charm of Day Ravies: you never know what to expect.
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There are nice little instrumental breathers peppered in there too: Enter The Bee patters in just 45 seconds of hypnotic synth hooks, March Comes Around is all rhythm grooves and lazy days lying in a sun-drenched, daisy-strewn field, with just a hint of reverb coming through to remind us what Day Ravies are all about.
Best of all, Day Ravies have a plethora of album launch dates all lined up, so you can go venture into eclectic bliss along with them. With an impressive resume behind them, having opened for The Clean, Deerhunter, Dick Diver, and The War On Drugs, you can expect nothing less than a stellar performance.
Check out Day Ravies’ Liminal Zones tour dates below:
October 9, The Bearded Lady, Brisbane
October 15, The Phoenix, Canberra
October 16, Rad Bar, Wollongong
October 23, The Tote Melbourne
October 24, The Metro, Adelaide
November 6, The Roxbury Hotel, Sydney
November 14, The Grand Poobah Hotel, Hobart