The origins of post-hardcore and math rock are very much entwined, with many early math rock groups either taking influence from the former genre or espousing its tropes.
Despite this, new music in this style can still sound fresh. Del Paxton, while not necessary a game-changing band, exemplify this by taking pieces from an established formula, and adding to it in their own, modern way. On their debut, ‘All Day, Every Day, All Night’, they stick mostly to an emo revival style, but incorporate other elements like the complexity of the aforementioned math rock and some of the bounce of modern pop-punk.
Del Paxton are at their best when they meld angsty emo with technical and angular riffs as they do on such tracks as ‘Sixes and Sevens’ and ‘In the Well’. They also manage to keep things interesting with dynamic and unpredictable song structure. For example, ‘Green House’ switches things up from standard emo to a mathy instrumental section about a minute-and-a-half in.
As a result of this, though, less dynamic tracks like ‘Take it to the Limit’ and ‘Primetime’ are not as fun to listen to in the context of the whole record, which lets things down slightly.
Elsewhere, ‘Loose Leaf’ keeps proceedings fresh by turning up the heaviness, helped largely by the immediacy of its drums, with an especially heavy fill kicking in about three-quarters of the way through the song. ‘Coast to Coast AM’ incorporates softer electronic elements, but serves more as an interlude than an actual song. This is a shame as a more fully developed version of this could’ve been interesting.
Overall, Del Paxton’s debut is enjoyable and the band have expertly carved their own niché. It’s not entirely original, and not without its flaws, but ‘All Day, Every Day, All Night’ is certainly worth your attention.
‘All Day, Every Day, All Night’ by Del Paxton is released on 3rd March on Topshelf Records.
Words by Alan Cunningham (@funeral_polis)