Review: Glow by DAYMARE

By: Lex Vegas

 Artwork for DAYMARE's EP Glow. (Artwork courtesy of Spotify)

Artwork for DAYMARE's EP Glow. (Artwork courtesy of Spotify)

It’s no secret that a touch of turmoil can often be the catalyst for an artist’s finest output. In the case of Columbus rockers DAYMARE, a complicated breakup and harrowing hiatus resulted in the group returning to the stage with its strongest release to date.

The compelling quartet dropped its new EP, Glow, on the world in June with a packed release show at Spacebar. As its first studio work in two years, the five-song record is packed with crunchy riffs and monster vocals, occasionally veering into the most melodic, radio-ready territory of its half-decade career.

Clocking in at just over 20 minutes, there is little wasted time or space on the EP. Things kick off with a pair of stingers, “Landmine” and “Needles,” which show the band slashing through tight choruses with confidence and precision.

“The song 'Needles' is oddly enough the second song [drummer] Austin [Spears] and I ever wrote together five years ago,” singer Dustin Rinehart said. “We’d played it live countless times but never saw a proper recording or release. To have that early of a song on the new EP is a really cool thing to me.”

The record really gets interesting with its centerpiece, the anthemic titular track which was influenced by Rinehart’s struggle with the loss of his band and his desire to relight the creative flame.

“I kind of felt lost without DAYMARE,” he said. “It’s like a long-term relationship ending and trying to find that same spark somewhere else. Once you’re used to something operating a certain way, it’s difficult to just try that same approach in another setting and expect it to work.”

That track and its follow up, “Grounded,” highlight the group’s ability to craft accessible rock that doesn’t compromise its bite for the sake of a good hook. They’ve got both in spades, with the help of a tight mix by producer Joe Viers at Sonic Lounge Studio.

“We knew for a long time that we wanted to record with Joe, and I think when we added "Glow" to the mix, we just knew it was time to hit the studio,” Rinehart said.

The final song, “Villains”, encapsulates the vibe of the entire EP in a sharp four minutes and features Rinehart’s finest Dave Grohl-esque screech. It's the sound of a group feeling as triumphant and unified as at any point in its career, either in spite or more likely because of its time apart from one another.

“The hiatus helped us to put things in perspective regarding how we operate as individuals, how we treat each other, how we approach potential problems and conflicts,” Rinehart said. “We’re stronger, tighter, and much more of a united front than before. The music is clearly the most important aspect, how that happens begins and ends with us.”

Glow is just a tease of what DAYMARE are capable of and leaves one anxious for the next chapter of its musical journey. But until that time comes, it’s more than enough to enjoy the fruits of its labor and the mutual love that brought it to life.

“I knew [DAYMARE] was where I needed to be and I hoped that someday we’d be able to work things out. Luckily, that happened,” Rinehart said.

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RIYL: Foo Fighters, Thrice, Jimmy Eat World