Year Of No Days

Night Battles

Snappy Little Numbers Records, 2021

http://nightbattles.bandcamp.com

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 09/10/2021

If you're a '90s hardcore/punk nerd like myself, you'll be pretty excited to know that the guitarist Chris Skelly (of Dahlia Seed fame) is one of the driving forces behind North Carolina's Night Battles. Skelly is joined by fellow punk enthusiast and vocalist Charlie King, while Dante Bruno handles bass and Ryan Nathan sits behind the drum kit on this very focused and often intense record.  my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“Sunyata” gets the listen off to a dense start that's not short on psychedelic ideas as a firm post-punk presence enter the doom-like qualities of the nearly eight minutes. “Summer Of Loathe” follows with thick drumming alongside King's bellowing vocals that suit the ominous, mysterious climate.

Some of the best tunes land in the middle, where “Sub Rosa” emits nostalgic goth bits into the dark undercurrent of melody and “White Light/Black Dreams” blends muscular noise with a crunchy tunefulness that even hints at the early days of alt-rock in its meticulous nature.

Towards the end, the rumbling and quicker “King Of Nothing” showcases Bruno's precise bass work alongside a nearly singalong quality that's harmonic while still being hard hitting. “Hungry Ghost” then exits the listen with the shortest track, but one that is no less impactful as the quartet blend fuzzy guitars, furious drumming, and distinct singing.

Night Battles doesn’t fit nicely into any single category, but instead mashes psych rock, post-punk, grunge, garage rock, and sludgy, doom style metal into an abrasive but also catchy formula.

Certainly a dark effort, Year Of No Days was recorded at the peak of Covid-19 in 2020, and it encompasses all the despair, bleakness, and introspection that the world was living in during that time. Thankfully, with the veteran talent present between the members, the band turned tragedy into a unique energy that's soaked in reverb and hosts an impressive rhythm section on this first of hopefully many more records.

Rating: A-

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