For over a decade now, Topshelf Records have done a fantastic job of seeking out the best in up-and-coming talent, especially within the indie/emo scenes. From Into It. Over It. and Sorority Noise, to Touché Amore and You Blew It, they just seem to have a knack for finding bands with incredible potential.
In 2015 they signed Del Paxton, a quirky indie rock group from upstate New York with an affinity for hazy guitars and rousing melodies. The band recently released their debut full-length album All Day, Every Day, All Night, a solid first showing from the fairly young trio.
From the moment you hit play on All Day, Every Day, All Night, the thing that stands out most about this album is the kinetic energy Del Paxton manages to create even in the simplest of melodies. There’s a lot movement throughout the eleven tracks, as the band shifts seamlessly between frenetic and relaxed tempos, or alternates between louder moments and softer ones.
Opener “My Other” is a loud highly caffeinated introduction to the warm tones and in-your-face bass melodies that typify much of All Day, Every Day, All Night. The track is short and sweet, throwing listeners head first into the fray.
“Wrong Distance” is a bold, toe-tapping number that opens with quiet cross sticking before diving into a bright guitar riff. Though the track can be busy at times, it gradually strips back the layers of instrumentals and gives listeners a brief respite before pitching into the next song.
Quieter and cleaner than much of All Day, Every Day, All Night, “Coast To Coast” is a short interlude that marks the album’s halfway point. The track, which feels more like filler than anything else, features electronic drumbeats that are out of place amongst the rest of the album’s less polished indie rock sound.
“Greenhouse” trades off simplistic verses for fuller choruses. The vocals are sparse in this one; its back half mostly features the repetition of the album title (“All day/every day/all night”), which takes a backseat to the splashy cymbals and persistent bass line that characterize the song.
The biggest miss-step Del Paxton makes on their full-length debut is with their vocals. Much of the lyrics are half-shouted rather than sang, and get lost amongst the busier melodies. Because of this it can be hard to understand what the band is singing, which makes it harder to truly connect with the songs.
As a whole though, they’ve put together an album that is fun, catchy, and will surely find its own place in the Topshelf Records history books. All Day, Every Day, All Night is an album made for long drives and late nights, and speaks to bigger things still to come.