Checking the ubiquitous Google to find some information on My Darkest Days, a relative new Canadian rock quartet that is supported by Chad Kroeger, I stumbled upon many genres to describe their self titled debut album. Alt rock, melodic rock, radio rock, post grunge rock and a few other genres hit the screen. That always makes me nervous. What to expect? In such cases best thing is to put the disc in the cd player and let the album tell it's own story. And as the tracks pass by I cannot deny a growing sense of enthusiasm although a few chapters are somewhat disappointing.
The albums kicks of with Move Your Body, a typical party rocker with a nice riff and pleasant chorus. Next on is the first single Porn Star Dancing, a genuine, even bold, US radio track with a strong riff and chorus that nevertheless doesn't stick with me. The same song returns in a different fashion later on as a bonus track with some rap influences and unfortunately doesn't get much better.
The good news is that after this unsettling start things improve quickly with Every Lie, a great mid tempo rocker with a beautiful keyboard and an unmistakable AOR flavor. And it gets better, because Like Nobody Else is probably the best track on the album. It starts of acoustic but grows into a great atmospheric rocker with nice harmony vocals and the best refrain on the album. The World Belongs To Me and Save Me are a little heavier and I am sure that either of them would be a better singles choice. But hey, I am not the label manager.
Set It On Fire is the third mainstream song that doesn't do it for me. It starts with a poppy intro and never gets rid of that tag. But with Come Undone (a Duran Duran cover), Can't Forget You and Goodbye (strong riff) the album ends in great melodic fashion. My copy also included two extra tracks Without You and Still Worth Fighting for and they continue the good run of the last three tracks. Moreover, Without You is a great ballad that duels with Like Nobody Else for being best track on the album.
Is My Darkest Days an album to get nervous about? Well maybe a little. It seems the album is a bit of a mixed bag. There are a couple of mainstream radio tracks that have their appeal, but seem to be a bit lost on this disc. I understand the commercial importance of this album, but lovers of the first single may be seriously disappointed because only three tracks to satisfy your appetite is a bit on the thin side.
Melodic rock fans are better off though. This band can perform wonders when they put emphasis on the more atmospheric and melodic rock tracks. Their vocal and guitar abilities fit this type of music well and the boys are capable of writing mature and accessible compositions with ultra catchy choruses that really stick in your head. Meat Loaf used to sing 'two out of three ain't bad' but for My Darkest Days I would suggest 'ten out of thirteen ain't bad'. Let's hope their next effort is 100%, I don't mind changing radio stations to hear more of them.