New Year’s Day – "Victims to Villains" Review

New Year’s Day


One day, casually searching the deepest, darkest areas of twitter I stumbled across a little band called New Year’s Day. If you’re anything like me, the Black Veil Brides’ song is now lodged in your head playing at full volume, but lets minimise the distractions and detours for today? Agreed? This quintet (I know all my posts so far have all been bands with 5 members…but trust me this is purely coincidence…that or musical voodoo!). Naturally on finding this unique vampiric band I had to look more into them, and their third album “Victims to Villains” (released June 11th 2013) had me gripped.

 

A sinister melody begins the album, with intrusion of the guitar and drums, before all hell breaks loose with Do Your Worst.  Costello’s vocals dominate as the other instruments drop out for the first few lines; her vocals are pushed into a heavier, grittier style compared to their previous punk rock sound, think Haley William (Paramore) meets Amy Lee (Evanescence). It’s safe to say that this genre works for the group, enhancing each member’s talents perfectly.

 

Ashley Costello
Vocals
Moving on to their captivating I’m No Good, their punk rock background can be heard clearly through their authoritative, addicting chord progression. This song alone motivates it audience is multiple ways, one being just to let go and not give a damn about anything or anyone. In contrast, their slower, almost softer breakdown is interesting, Costello’s voice sounding almost mesmerising (in a creepy child from a horror moving kind of way) before hitting straight back into the powerful chorus leaving the listener on a high before the sudden end.
Bloody Mary is a fascinating song in its own right – a unique move from the band – something they haven’t ever touched upon before. Varying from sung lyrics in the first verse and chorus to antagonistic speech, in which Costello’s power and assertiveness is driven strongly by Dixon’s inspiring double bass rhythm. Nevertheless, Mr. Misery and Jones steal the spotlight with their earth shattering solos – bring out the air guitars!
Carrying their new metal sound onwards, Victim is definitely a song that will give people headaches from the amount of head banging you can’t help but do. Their lyrics, like the rest of the album, can be compared to Halestorm, both bands leaded by rock goddesses whom hold the control over their guys in the band, although it is obvious that both bands are built as families, more than individuals whom simply play together.
Nikki Misery
Guitar
I could say that Hello Darkness is the quintets quietest songs, but that would be a lie. Don’t let the hushed first verse fool you; instead it is a crescendo creeping into the explosion of which is the chorus. Misery’s, Jones and Barro’s rhythm strengthens the foundations of the song, however it is the chorus that quenches the audience’s thirst, a thirst that each verse worsens…in a pleasurable pain kinda way; it heightens the anticipation and excitement for the choruses.
New Year’s Day use further experimentation within the album “Victim to Villain” in the song Death of the Party. Despite the darker lyrics this is contradicted by the almost electronic sound, nonetheless this works for this specific song; although, the band returns to their metal sound in the chorus. Yet, the most curious part of the entire song is the bridge/breakdown, beginning with Costello’s own attempted version of screaming, immediately followed by the electronic, bridging on dance, backing beat. However, through following this with the memorable “we are the death of the party” and thick rhythm, New Year’s Day reinforces their darker side; finishing the song with one last ‘scream’ ties the song off appropriately.
Jake Jones
Guitar

Costello’s voice carries the haunting melody of The Arsonist through the entire song, with the rest of the band picking up the emotion gradually in the second part of each verse, before reaching its crescendo in the chorus.  Personally, I find the melody haunting yet mesmerising to the extent you cannot simply just pause the song, but HAVE to listen to it in its entirety. Misery’s and Jones’ fills and solos complete the ensemble nicely, protracting the sinister tune.

Angel Eyes (feat. Chris Motionless) is the first song off the album that got me hooked on the band, the endearing lyrics are presented in a more aggressive nature than we’re used to with New Year’s Day, whether this is the obvious influence of Chris Motionless or the band simply trying something new, either way it fits more perfectly than two puzzle pieces. Chris Motionless’ screaming maybe the antithesis to Costello’s voice but you know what they say…opposite attract…and in this case these two distinctions strengthen each other. And let’s not forget the powerful rhythms and fills by Dixon, without these specific segments the song would not have the effect it was designed to have, but instead would be sunken and meaningless. Now Barro…his bass line to remarkable, enhancing the rhythm of the drums and the melodies of both the voice and guitars…no song is complete without a suitable bass line…it can either make or break a song…here is definitely makes the song. Last, but not least, once again Misery and Jones know exactly what to do to take a song from good to amazing!
Anthony Barro
Bass

 

By far one of my favourites by the band, Any Last Words reminds me of an early My Chemical Romance influence, however with a future punk rock influence. The lyrics follow the traditional melody of punk rock, although the words themselves are far more sinister, this combination don’t conventionally match, but once again New Year’s Day make it possible. Dixon begins the song, in very few cases does a drum solo work when opening a song but here it works like a charm, followed by Barro’s punching bass and Misery and Jones’ interesting chord progression and flicks. The characteristic that makes this song shine brighter than the rest on the album? Personally, the group interaction during the first verse, as well as Costello’s ‘speech’ of “It’s your funeral party ladies and gentlemen, so lets have some fuuuuuuuun” is the icing on the   cake as the saying goes.
The penultimate song Tombstone is something that sounds different to the rest of the songs on the album, majority of the song is carried with the voice and single guitar melody, with Dixon’s cymbals making a subtle input. The song is by far the shortest too, only being approximately 1 minute 45 seconds. But the thing that fascinates me most about the song is that it is a haunting romance that Costello’s siren voice makes sound like the most perfect thing in the world, although the romance seemingly revolves around death itself, linking perfectly with their dark, vampiric look.
Russell Dixon
Drums

Last Great Love Story…the name itself is enchanting, combined with Misery’s, Jones’, Barro’s and Dixon’s introduction suggests the band planned all along for their album to end on a high…especially through following the calming melodies of Tombstone. Costello uses her voice with all its might in order to give the listeners a well deserved sending off to the end of the album, as well as an epic solo ripping through the middle eight. The collective control of a power voice, drums, bass and guitars, the band conclude the album how it begun.

Their lyrics’ mirroring nicely their vampiric attire, and their music is catchy and vibrant with a gothic edge.
First punk rock to Goth?! The bands change in genre has suited them effectively…but what is next for New Year’s Day now?

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