It’s refreshing and perception altering when a musicians reveal a different side to both themselves and their music, and that is exactly what we have got in the shape of The Here And Now’s debut Born to Make Believe Part 1. Alan Day, whose name you might recognise from his exploits within pop-punk outfit Four Year Strong, must have been building up a body of work for some time while believing that it never quite fit with the FYS sound. Day’s spare-time has seemingly been devoted to crafting a brand new entity, which has slowly found its own identity as the Here and Now. With influences spanning from Neil Young and The Beatles to bands like The Smashing Pumpkins and Nirvana; Day creates a whirlwind of rock transcending several generations.
The opening (and title) track kicks into life with a guitar intro smoothed over Day’s crooning. Its shifting tempo and sound sets the tone for the whole EP, covering a wide range of rock and roll eras, but doing so with an original modern twist. Third track “Broken By You” holds a line which is more folk, with a sound showing a clear Neil Young influence, while the rocking track “Numb Again” hits home with a sound reminiscent of the Foos. Day manages to mix together 90’s grunge with folk rock and does so without butchering or rubbishing either. It is far from what FYS fans are accustomed to, but it demonstrates the diversity of an underappreciated musician. What this first EP shows is that Day is clearly a fantastic songsmith; the tracks that make up the EP show that he knows how to make melody central and that he is not afraid of variation, not just across the EP but across a single song. The music can go from a calm folk rock sea to a spontaneous storm of rock’n’roll. Heavy rock riffs spur to life in an instant, before calmly falling back towards the soothing sounds, as if there was no interruption to them at all.
The best part of the EP is that it is supposedly only the first instalment of three, each to be five songs long. It is to be released through Bandcamp as a name-your-price download because, Day said: “the idea is just to be able to let people get the music when they want it, and not ignore it because they don’t want to pay the $5 to buy a record”. A good way for new projects to battle against the spree of illegal downloads. Since you can get your digital hands on a copy of the EP for whatever price you see fit, you really have no excuse for not checking this gem out!
4 out of 5 high fives!