Days Away’s self-released disc the L.S.D.E.P. is an out of print rarity today, but collection fanatics need not worry – every track of the EP is recreated on the band’s debut album Mapping an Invisible World. Still, it’s nice to take a look back at the promise held by the best songs of the EP.
The soothing sounds of “Stay the Same” are a wonderful start to the L.S.D.E.P. Even with the instrumentation at its heaviest, Keith Goodwin (guitar/vocals) keeps a lazy pace with his placid singing. “Stay the Same” also introduces the band’s simplistic yet poignant approach to lyrics, a fitting compliment to Goodwin’s vocal style.
Days Away waste no time in showing their best hand with “God and Mars,” a fast paced and instantly addicting track. Goodwin’s sense of urgency is palpable as he vocalizes his poor state to the masses through the clever lyric, ‘I’m in a better place when you take this and turn it around.’ Tim Arnold (drums) does a fine job of keeping a quick rhythm throughout the song, which guarantees a second listen.
“Fight” slows things down again and delivers the most emotion of the L.S.D.E.P.Downtrodden lyrics (‘I’d trade the truth for some lies sometimes / I feel better not knowing what’s going on’) and mournful notes courtesy of Matt Austin (guitar) set a fitting melancholy mood. A fantastic outro combining rhythmic backing vocals (‘ba-ba-ba-ba’) and Goodwin’s high pitched crooning make for a perfect ending. “Fight” is so despairing that one almost feels guilty gathering pleasure from it.
If this were a three song EP it would score ridiculously high. As it happens, the rest of the L.S.D.E.P. doesn’t compare to the initial draw. Chris Frangicetto (bass) is at his best on the next two tracks once his bass lines are easily recognizable, but “Ideas” and “It Happens” fall short of the standards set by the first three songs. Though “Ideas” and “It Happens” are of the same design, their vocals/lyrics lack the same flair, and more importantly, they are just not as enjoyable.
Picking an instrumental as part of a limited track listing is not the best choice, unless said track truly warrants an appearance. Days Away shows some talent on “T. Klines Decline,” but repetition doesn’t help the song elevate itself to more than a smooth jam session that fits the mood of previous songs. Unfortunately, the slow pace and nonexistent vocals of “T. Klines Decline” may have listeners giving up on the song before it’s halfway complete, and the L.S.D.E.P. deserves a better end than that.