Throughout DAY6’s prolific career, they’ve fused their core rock band sound with various genre influences. I tend to prefer when they aim for the pop jugular — even better if it involves 80’s synths and anthemic choruses. With this in mind, there’s a lot to love on their newest album. The group has taken a more electronic approach this time around, which feels like an exciting evolution for them. But even framed within these new stylistic diversions, title track Sweet Chaos is something of a red herring.
The song is as (mainstream) punk as the guys have ever gone. I love a good punk attitude, especially if it’s accompanied by a loud, messy, cathartic song. But, I never enjoyed the Fall Out Boy / Panic! At The Disco craze of emo punk that swept the States back in the mid-00’s. I found too much of the music to be whiny, affected and — quite frankly — obnoxious. As polished as Sweet Chaos is, it verges a little too close to that particular sound for my liking.
Chaos’ highlight is definitely its percussion. Drummer Dowoon gets a lot of fan love, but casual listeners might not always have the opportunity to appreciate his skills. That won’t be the case here, as the instrumental is forged almost entirely on stomping percussion that borrows from swing rhythm. In this way, the sound instantly reminded me of Green Day’s 1997 hit Hitchin’ A Ride. Thankfully, DAY6’s cavalcade of skilled vocalists are much closer to Billie Joe Armstrong’s charismatic sneer than the dime-a-dozen emo wails of days gone by. Still, I’m not a huge fan of Chaos’ circular chorus. It’s catchy and performed with verve, but its heavy repetition comes close to cloying. With that said, I love the track’s unrelenting energy and willingness to tackle new sounds within idol pop.
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