The Seattle-based group Longstride recently released an eight-song album called Days Like These, which combines rock, reggae and ska into an accessible pop format. Not unlike bands like Sublime, Maroon 5 and G. Love & Special Sauce, the songs are accessible, easy-to-digest and fun to listen to. The songs are the type that you could put on at a house party or better yet listen to at a luau on a beach in Hawaii.
One of the highlights of the album is called “This Time,” which is a upbeat song with upward guitar strums, proficient drumming and a distinct reggae singing style. Longstride successfully melds some rock elements into the music when the chorus hits. Although the style has been replicated ever since Sublimes success in the early 90’s the song is well written and displays chemistry between the band members. Another strong track is “Runnin,” which has some of the catchiest vocal melodies on the album and a stellar bass line. I was a bit taken back that the second to last track on the album was a cover of “What’s Up” by the mid 90’s one-hit-wonder sensation 4 non blondes. The song actually fit pretty well with their style but I was surprised that they sequenced it as the second to last song. “Coast,” introduces some strong rock elements and again shows the technical abilities of the guys in the band.
They save the best song "Gone" for last. It contains a very strong vocal performance by the singer and felt like it was the best example of the sound they were going for with this record.
Days Like These is a record that shows exactly the type of music that the band wants to produce and does it unapologetically. There isn't much deviation from song to song and in fact they use a similar structure, which causes a lot of the songs to sound the same. Depending how you look at it this could be a good thing or a bad thing. For instance, I wouldn't want to buy a BB King album and find a couple of country songs on there.
After you hear the first song you should have a pretty good understanding of the music and whether or not you will enjoy the rest of the album.
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