Being from the Midwest myself, the spotlight isn’t something many of us enjoy or really prefer. Growing up you are typically brought up with extremely hard working values and an appreciation for everything – the big city life and bright shine of hustling and bustling streets doesn’t really exist. Forming in 2010 out of Des Moines, IA, Words Like Daggers never seemed to be attracted to those same bright lights many performers are and have been doing it local since their formation. After years of dedication and perseverance, everything has seemingly come full circle for the band with the announcement of their signing to Third String Records in January and the release of their debut full length, Perfect Weather on March 18. With the label and album announcement now public, the underlying question remained – how does this album stack up against others in a genre that many fans are finding tired and old? The answer: Brilliantly.
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Genre: Alternative Rock | Post Hardcore
Label: Third String Records
Release: March 18, 2016
Connect: Facebook | Twitter
Purchase: iTunes | Bandcamp
I’d like to be blatantly clear on this front; Perfect Weather is one hell of a rollercoaster of emotions and puts the perspective of love and relationships into music extremely well. While it’s commonly thought a large majority of music is written about love in some aspect, most artists don’t cover the subject in a comprehensive matter throughout the entirety of the album. From the albums opener, “Miss Fortunate” to the album’s title track and closer, “Perfect Weather”, you are taken down the darker path of what relationships and love are all about. “Miss Fortunate” gets down and dirty with its message of distrust and manipulation in relationships and the outlying effect it has on people. Ending with the subtle, yet ridiculously catchy line “Don’t say it’s worth it, we’re half as much as we used to be…and you’re burning my light out” caps the track on the perfect note and is the clearest example of what the overall sound and message Perfect Weather offers.
Even though the album is lyrically and thematically dark, the sound and musicality of the album is more vibrant and upbeat. Words Like Daggers incorporate elements of post hardcore (mostly instrumentation) while opting for a subtler and mellowed out vocal delivery. There is the occasional use of harsh vocals, but it’s more about the placement and timing compared to typical nuances of harsh verses/clean choruses found in the majority of bands in the core scene. To top it off, the album is full of tracks that will stay in your head for weeks with catchy choruses and well done vocal melodies. Additionally, Perfect Weather is a meaty album, not only in lyrical depth, but in song structure and length. A large majority of albums currently made seem to have a lot of filler and skippable tracks; that is something I didn’t run into with this album. Some of the tracks do sound similar at the beginning, but the band introduces different elements throughout each track to differentiate them well enough. “Dead Weight” opens up with the plucking of an acoustic guitar, “Nothing Left to Prove” seemingly strips down to the barebones and goes full on alternative rock during it’s opening and “Perfect Weather” has one of the most beautifully crafted soundscapes to it that I’ve heard in rock music.
While this isn’t Words Like Daggers first attempt at music, it is their first attempt at dealing with putting together a cohesive, everlasting piece of art and they have done so admirably. Perfect Weather is more than just an album; it’s a complete package with a message to convey. From the album title and simplistic, natural beauty of the album cover to the alternative, yet slightly aggressive rock sound the band has put on full display, you can just feel the emotion and effort this simple Midwestern band has put into their craft. Whether or not this album leads to the break that gets them over the hump and into a bigger spotlight is for time to determine, but you cannot deny the beauty of what Perfect Weather is.