By Brent Michael, Rock At Night Tampa Correspondent
ALBUM REVIEW: Four Star Riot’s Daylight-Released June 16, 2018
Daylight is the latest release by Four Star Riot, and it takes you on a rollercoaster ride of emotion. The first track, “Slayed Pretender,,” starts off suddenly and brings you into the emotions of a relationship that never really was, a pretense to be slayed, and while done successfuly there are still memories that haunt you – my take on it, results may vary! I’ll note that these are not the band’s liner notes, or taken from an interview, but strictly my interpretations and impressions. The next track, “Floating Away,” is a timeless tune about being torn away by the demands of touring and studio time and everything else that comes with success as a musician, wanting the support but needing to go.
“Almost Daylight” is almost political, an upbeat track about the constant bombardment of news and conflicting views, and seeking shelter in a relationship while the darkness of night passes by. An option that will appeal to many in our contentious environment today! Of course, the next track, “Oxygen,” is promoting the opposite approach, warning of how holding too tightly can smother another. Mixed messages, or just a diversity of ideas? You can decide for yourself!
“Turn and Run” – is it political or personal? It’s either about the sorry state of affairs where our country is divided in two, and an admonition to go back to our roots – the Constitution? – or start a new relationship. Maybe I’m reading too much into it, or maybe there are two levels the song is written on. Steve Alex, the band’s frontman, has promised me an interview, so maybe I’ll get a chance to ask all these questions! “I’m Ready,” the next track, raises the same questions: “ready for a change, ready to stand up, nothings going to stand in our way.” relationship talk or political statement, or both? Inquiring minds want to know!
Okay, “Tunnel Vision” just has to be political, “now were just moving on,” “two steps backward,” “nothing is getting done,” “moving away from the truth,” could all of that apply to a relationship? Well, maybe. Sometimes relationships settle into a rut, moving forward, going nowhere, often with diverse goals that are never really talked about. Hmmm. Maybe the next track, “Never Never,” will offer more clues. “Don’t tell me there’s no hope at all,” “Now I’m running backwards,” “Don’t tell me there’s no use in trying,” “I never, I never went too far, I never fell where you are.” Nope, he could be talking about not giving up on a relationship, or a country.
Last two tracks. “Anyone” is definitely about a relationship. “Anyone can say goodbye, but you’re the only one I’d miss” is clearly about a person. And not likely a politician. Of course, that doesn’t mean the other songs weren’t political! “Beautiful Soul” closes out the album, and It’s clearly about a person, “I know you’re a lie,” “It’s too bad they don’t see you,” “Make a promise you can’t keep” – wait a minute, isn’t that what politicians do? Well, yeah, but regular people do it too, especially those who are ambitious and seek the spotlight and thrive on attention…now I’m getting confused again!
I guess you’ll just have to listen for yourself. You won’t regret it, no matter your politics or view of relationships, there’s something everyone can relate to. And look for them live as well!
Daylight (Link to Spotify) was recorded & mixed by Stephen Paul Connelly, mastered by Phil Demetro with a contribution by Roger Joseph Manning Jr. on the track “Oxygen.” CD consists of ten tracks, TRT: ~37 minutes.
Band members: Steve Alex, vocals and guitar, Mike Chilton, drums and vocals, Aaron Akers, bass guitar, vocals, and Finn Walling, lead guitar and vocals.
When not in custody, I've been involved with music, photography, and writing my entire life. Ever since I was a young boy and played those silver tunes, I've had the beat, but being a drummer didn't suit me so I became a lead singer, which lasted a few years. Settling down, sort of, I translated my knowledge of audio and glib tongue into mobile emcee work, and my training as a photographer and videographer into a living in the wedding, party, bar/bat mitzvah, and entertainment industry. During this time I also managed to bamboozle my way into a master's degree in writing, worked for a couple of magazines (yes, I took photos for a nudist magazine!), have photographed hotels, done commercial work (shot the cover of Tablet and Capsule magazine), published a few articles, hosted some public access shows (a couple times in drag, but that's another story), and generally made a nuisance of myself until I landed here.