"There are many bands that have followed in the tradition of The Pixies,
creating pop music that bares an unmistakable dark edge. Most of the best songwriters
of the 90's have listed The Pixies as an influence, most notably would probably be
Kurt Cobain and Rivers Cuomo. It seems like after the successes of Nirvana and Weezer,
almost every pop/rock band owed something to either one or both of the bands.
Unfortunately, few bands have been able to capture the essence of what made Nirvana,
Weezer (in their earlier years), and The Pixies so great. There have been many bands
to have an edgy sound since, but few that possessed really noteworthy songwriting skills.
San Jose's DC to Daylight has the songs and the sound. They are the real thing.
The power trio consists of singer/songwriter Warren Hauff and multi-instrumentalists
Tom Nelson and Steve Crane. Their debut EP, "Xmas Murder '74", is a mesh of pop hooks,
angular guitar leads, sparkling Rhodes keyboards, and jazzy grooves. The lyrics take
a look at daily existence and relationships with seething black humor.
“I hate everybody… everybody hates me…”, Hauff croons on the aptly titled
"I Hate Everybody". The most upbeat and happy sounding song on the 5-song EP is titled,
"My Way to Hell", using the dichotomy between the music and the lyrics to create surrealism.
The musicianship on the EP is extremely high and helps to make the songs so effective.
The only problem I had with this EP is that I feel as if the guitars are
often mixed too quietly, especially in "I Hate Everybody". This makes the
chorus sound a little too reigned in. I imagine that the band sounds better
live. They sound good produced lo-fi, but the production at times gets in the
way of the rock and roll. They should consider saving their money and having Steve
Albini (In Utero, Surfer Rosa) produce their next album. These are only minor
problems and in no way do they make the album displeasing. On the contrary,
I have listened to "Xmas Murder '74" many times and each time, I like it as much
as the first time I heard it.
I think that DC to Daylight is a very good band that have the potential for greatness.
They are definitely worth being aware of. With some development, they could perceivably
join the ranks of their influences."
-- Wake Zine, March 2003
"Talk about riding the bottom end. DC to Daylight rocks out a series of fine r&b riffs
and then turns the whole sound pyramid upside-down. All the fuzz is in the bass, which
makes the uptempo attack that pervades this disc even more astonishing.
Think the last Laughing Hyenas album, or maybe something from the Delta 72.
And then add a bizarre sense of humor (the pseudo-ska beat and Jimmy
Buffett-style organ in "My Way to Hell" ought to clash blindingly with
the rest of the album, but the song becomes something of a touchstone nonetheless)
and then simply let these boys roll.
In all honesty, this short piece of mutant music speaks for
itself. I can try to describe what I hear, but in no way can I capture the
strange appeal of these songs. One note (seriously!) and I was hooked. Even
more impressively, the disc tightened its grip as it played. Compelling doesn't
even begin to tell the story."
-- Aiding & Abetting Magazine, March 2003
"BREAKING DAYLIGHT: DC to Daylight recently released its EP Xmas Murder '74 on
Urban Cheese Records. Laid-back without being lackadaisical, this indie band's
music is pure garage- and college-rock cool. Based in San Jose, the group features
former members of the Jazzmen, Suburban Teen All Stars and Bad Dog Sit,
including Steve Crane (instruments), Tom Nelson (drums and instruments) and
Warren Hauff (vocals and instruments). Hauff's voice is so dark and raspy,
it's irresistible. Though clearly influenced by Frank Black on "Just a Joke"
and "Brand New Satellite," this local trio has its own sense of style, varying
between sparse, loose instrumentation and thick, fuzzy attacks. Dark and
dangerous, "Like a Man" careens wildly, while "I Hate Everybody" slows it
down to a trashy groove. The band puts thought in its lyrics, too, using clever
wordplay on "My Way to Hell": "If you're looking for Christ, you just crossed
him / But sometimes you find him, once you've lost him." Visit www.dctodaylight.com
to check out the tunes and some cool videos. "
-- Silicon Valley Metro
"In the hectic and lonely word of the jobbing reviewer you spend a lot of time
trawling through countless dull releases from ordinary bands that by some miracle
have managed to secure themselves a recording contract from some obscure record
label. However the editors of this erstwhile organ sometimes do allow a titbit of
joy to slip through their fingers and into the sweaty paws of the average cave
dwelling journo. DC to Daylight's (ludicrous name I know) debut EP is a cheeky
slice of view askew alternative music that would grace anybodies collection.
Instantly enjoyable on first listen, it's feel good music but for reasons which
are hard to pin point. The undercurrent is certainly Pavement and The Pixies with
the hint of Weezer lurking under the surface, it sounds fun and poppy but never
allows itself to descend into twee childishness. Where some bands desperately want
to be perceived as witty or clever, these guys do it naturally and it comes across
in their music.
There's an unmistakeable stamp of college radio friendliness about the five
featured tracks, but this shouldn't detract from the fact that this is a fine
attempt at a debut. The vocal style is highly original (almost Doolittle era
Black Francis) and its delivery is almost lazy but effective. There's dirty sounding
guitars and a great fuzzy bass all thrown into the melting pot to create what can
only be described as something that in it's only particular way both rocks and
grooves at the same time. Throw in videos for two of the songs, three bonus tracks
from label mate bands, and you have a CD that is well and truly value for money.
If I didn't have a free copy, I'd be rushing down the shops to buy one right now
and I recommend you do the same. This is the sort of CD that makes doing this
job so satisfying at times, and leaves you hungry for more of the same."
-- Sounds XP
"DC To Daylight is the new indie rock band on the block and they are not
fucking around. Xmas Murder '74 starts off with Just a joke that is 3 and
half minutes of musical bliss. Think Dinosaur JR but with a punk rock
influence. Other favorites include Brand New Satellite and Like a man."
"Once upon a time there was a poor little editor who was into lots of
different styles of music. The two rulers of the dark Whiskey Soda Kingdom
tried and tried to banish him to the punk underworld but that didn't bother
him in the slightest and he carried on messing about in all departments
without achieving anything. But one day he began to sob uncontrollably, for
everywhere he looked, all he could see was Linkin Park. On the cover of
every music magazine and on every music programme on TV, in fact everywhere
he looked, the deadly serious, determined faces of those six boys stared
back at him. The little editor didn't know why the Six were so angry, but
the silly, bright hair just didn't look right as far as he was concerned.
He sobbed and sobbed and didn't know what to do. The NuMetal curse was
simply too powerful for him to be able to fight it. But just as he was
thinking that there was no escape and he had almost cried all his tears, a
two-metre tall fairy appeared. She had shoulder-length, beautiful silky
brown hair and handed the little editor a CD. She spoke with a deep voice:
"It's already been out for a while, so I'll give you a Task without a date."
The little editor was puzzled by these words. What did she mean by "Task"
and what in heaven's name did she mean by "it's already out"? Out of what?
He decided to put the gleaming silver disc away somewhere safe and take it
back to his little hut. Then he would still be able to calmly place it in
his CD player and have a think about what to do with it. He was a bit
disappointed that the band had only recorded five songs on it and then
written a rather brutal sounding name on it: "XMas Murder ´74". But somehow
he quite liked the name of the band: "DC To Daylight". It had a friendly
ring to it. But what did it mean? He looked it up in his trusty almanac and
discovered that it was a reference to the frequency range of 0 Hertz to
daylight of the electromagnetic wave spectrum. It was all very peculiar.
On the CD there were images of strange wooden dolls. A scarecrow and a
snowman. And the circumstances under which the CD had found its way into his
hands were also very mysterious. Before she disappeared in a puff of
cigarette smoke, the fairy had told him that the CD had been sent directly
from America-Land - which apparently was somewhere near Panama - and had
even been opened by the cunning customs officers. The CD had flown across
the big pond without being asked, straight into the arms of the little
editor. It had chosen him. Most unusual. When he finally heard the first
notes, he hardly dared believe his ears. Upon hearing "My Way To Hell", the
little editor, who was still all puffy from crying, couldn't help jumping
for joy. He immediately wanted to invite all his friends over and dance
around the room with them. Another song entitled "Just A Joke" sounded
incredibly fresh to him. For a short while, he became sad again because it
reminded him of his long-lost friend Kurt, but then joy prevailed with this
wonderful sound. He was slightly startled when his little hut began to
shudder and shake to "Like A Man". But by then he was beside himself with
pure happiness and wildness and didn't care. When the initial excitement had
subsided, he discovered that there were also two odd videos of the band
hidden on the CD. The played about on their little instruments, singing
about how much fun it was and how you couldn't help but like the funny
fellows from far away San Jose. As the closing "Brand New Satellite" played,
the little guy had an idea: he could stuff some wacky baccy into his small
pipe and chill a while after all the excitement. This he did and fell fast
asleep, safe in the thought that the evil Linkin Park spell had been broken.
Never again would he worry so much about his many other musical friends. "
-- Whiskey Soda
"It is rare for an album to grab you at the first song and not let go until the end. This is especially true when the release is the band's debut. And it is even more difficult to make a good album when there are only, say, five songs on the album, as fewer songs mean they have to be that much tighter. Well much to my surprise, and excitement, DC to Daylight have created just that EP.
"Xmas Murder '74" is six tracks (five songs and one short audio clip,
not to mention some videos and other MP3s that are all included on the CD) that are
smart, catchy and simply great. From the thick guitar riffs on "Just a joke" to the
weird lounge jazz opening of "I hate everybody," DC to Daylight deliver tight
instrumental parts that are perfectly complimented by band member Warren Hauff's
distinctive voice. The EP keeps your attention for its entire length and gets you
dancing along as Hauff, nearly screaming, tells the listener "Such a loser/You make
me feel/Like a man" ("Like a man") or as he works the dynamics with honest and amusing
lyrics like, "Mother, Father/Sorry I'm a bother/Brother, Sister/Sorry I'm a
blister/To the family…I'm the black sheep of the family." The band, ironically,
continue their understated humorous approach with a laid back and lighthearted
sounding riff on "My way to Hell." The instruments especially stand out on the
closer, "Brand new satellite," as what should be an ordinary solo breaks up the
song and adds a nice touch.
DC to Daylight's debut release "Xmas Murder '74: Cheap Therapy For Your
Inner Problem Child" is excellent : thick guitar riffs grab you in every song
as the rhythm section gets your head bobbing and the vocals compel you to sing
along. As each track progresses, you expect the songs to be less intense, less
interesting but they never are. Instead, DC to Daylight leaves you to hitting
repeat and wanting more.
-- Plug In Music
"Just a joke", the song that opens "Xmas Murder '74" of newcomers DC To Daylight,
is delicious and has the touch of the music played in those U.S.
underground venues that have exported so many sounds and styles
worldwide. "Like a man", the following track, with its garage atmosphere
and its hammering and saturated bass, finally puts the listener in context.
DC To Daylight combines with its grunge mixer (their guitars' distortion
cannot be more revealing), indie rock and pop (good melodies and choruses).
The promotional leaf compares them with Pavement, Weezer, Pixies, Presidents
of The United States and a long list of outstanding alternative icons.
Although the band from San Jose (California) sounds less polished, it
is true that there is something of those groups in it. We'll stay tuned
for more material from the group (this record only has 6 songs, and one of
them is 8 seconds long) to see how far they can get. For the time being, the
basis is very solid.
-- Indy Rock Ideal
"A definite 5 star listen!" DC to Daylight, the phrase ham radio operators use to
describe the range of frequencies from zero hertz to the frequency of daylight,
is a moniker befitting of these indie rockers and their varied,
yet coherent sound. DC to Daylight is made up of veteran musicians
of the San Francisco Bay Area music scene. Previous bands include
The Jazzmen, and Suburban Teen All Stars, both of which have
created a West Coast buzz. Here we are treated to 'pop hooks, angular guitar
leads, sparkling Rhodes keyboards, and jazzy grooves, with lyrics that
take a look at daily existence and relationships with seething black humor.'
Grade: Five stars (out of five)
Quick: what's most notably absent from today's music? Is it rebellion? No,
we have enough of that -- at least the bland, institutionalized version,
with all those crappy nü bands. How about style? No, our friends in
Williamsburg, Brooklyn supposedly have that front covered. Guess again.
Could it be entertainment value? It sounds so obvious it just might be true.
DC to Daylight, good indie rockers with a bad name from San Jose, CA, make a
case for that last possibility with their debut EP. Mixing a bright guitar
sound a la the Pixies with the grunge-pop edge of Weezer and Nirvana and the
occasional loose Stooges groove, DC to Daylight remain entertaining at
almost every turn.
Are they brilliant? No, but they have other charms -- smarts, personality
and just enough edge to stand out. In fact, their tendency toward controlled
chaos and amped up fun would fit right in with any of the bands that make
music videos with Spike Jonze. Xmas Murder '74 actually includes an
extremely lo-fi, light-hearted video of "My Way To Hell", the album's
strongest track. Its simplicity is at least a few worlds away from planet
MTV, but who really cares? It sums up a band more focused on sounding good
and having fun than on honing its image. In other, slightly more
disparaging, words, DC to Daylight get by more on their quirky charm than
their rather unsexy attempts at seduction. Even harder, angstier numbers
such as the Bleach-era "Like a Man" never seem that angry, which can be
great if you've ever wondered what a more well-adjusted Kurt Cobain might
That's not to say that the band sanitizes grunge in favor of its poppier
side. Actually, Xmas Murder '74 is appealing because of its yin-yang mix of
peppy upbeat pop and edgy hard-driven rock. If you don't get your fix with
other, more popular bands of that sort -- Weezer and the New Pornographers
come to mind -- check these guys out. They were made for summer fun.
-- Rob Guthrie, Splendid Zine
"When going through dozens of albums in a college radio station, it isn't easy to
find that proverbial diamond in the rough. A catchy cover led to a curiosity to
play "I Hate Everybody." Then I decided to play the rest of the CD and couldn't
believe the range of the songs. It went from dark to bright, from cold to hot.
I thought Kurt Kobain had come back from the dead! Then I asked myself, why is
this band not getting play on mainstream? They have the sounds, they have the talent,
they have the confidence, and they have the ability. Look out for DC2D. They are
an easygoing bunch with an ability to make an ordinary college DJ look like a
-- Jim McCabe, WRKC DJ
"The San Jose, CA, trio debuts with this rather good update on the local grunge
aesthetic filtered through the '80's indie post-punk garage sound (from Young Fresh
Fellows to The Magnolias). Head DCtD Warren Hauff has a voice that reminds of Kurt
Cobain singing at the bottom of his range, and the harder, faster, nastier,
fuzzed-out songs such as "Like A Man" remind of that group's early scuzz-pun
(especially when Hauff starts shouting). But the group never succumbs to
regurgitation--they remind a little of them, but that's all. The songs are there,
all six of them rock pretty well, and had they been around in 1990, the
Sub Pop cofounders might
have been chasing them around the Bay Area with a ready-to-ink contract."
-- The Big Take Over (Jack Rabid)
"DC to Daylight may have a silly name, but there's nothing even remotely silly about this Californian pop-rocking three-piece. Strongly reminiscent of Weezer, DC to Daylight's delightful indie rock may not be too cutting edge -- but who cares, when it's done as stylishly and confidently as this. "Like A Man" blatantly rips off Nevermind-era Nirvana, but these guys somehow gets away with it. As they do with everything else, it seems.
While Xmas Murder '74 may be the sound of three kids who never quite got over the Pixies, I'm certainly not one to hold that against them. The songwriting is not always top-notch, however, there are some splendid moments here -- most notably the great opening track "Just A Joke." And it's all very remarkable stuff for a first offering."
-- Ink 19
"These guys have a Nirvana groove and a lead singer that sounds somewhat similar to Pavement's Stephen Malkmus. "Just a Joke" and "Like a Man" have the grungy guitar sounds with some Cobain-like wails. Every song reminds me of the "alternative rock" radio days of the mid to late 1990s. If Local H, Marcy Playground, Weezer and The Presidents of the United States of America are your cup of tea, then this is your album. The Xmas Murder '74 CD contains two videos, for the songs "Like a Man" and "My Way to Hell".
-- Erasing Clouds
"On this six-track, five-song EP, San Jose outfit DC to Daylight (the name derives from a ham radio term) showcases a low-key, likable affinity for the pop-inflected side of the indie rock spectrum. When it's done well -- as on "Like a Man," a brief but memorable burst of primordial garage-rock groove that recalls Atlanta's Forty-Fives and other like-minded outfits -- Xmas Murder '74 glimmers with potential. But the momentum sags when the trio takes an ill-advised turn toward light, breezy pop rock: On the too-sprightly "My Way to Hell," the band trades in its workmanlike sense of practice-room menace for a grating melody undercut with tinkly Rhodes piano. And the lazy lolling of the lounge-y "I Hate Everybody" grinds the disc's mid-tempo pacing to a languorous halt. These numbers undermine the amiable strides made by th e energetic "Like a Man" and the loping numbers "Just a Joke" and "Brand New Satellite" (both powered by Warren Hauff's passable Jesus and Mary Chain drawl). If DC to Daylight cranks up the tempo, jettisons its more irresolute pop leanings and refines its knack for sturdy indie-rock proficiency, that'll be a frequency worth searching out."
-- Kevin Forest Moreau, ShakingThrough.net
"Fans of early 90's rock will appreciate DC to Daylight. Their 6 song EP, _Xmas Murder '74_, is full of driving guitar hooks, bass and drums, highlighted by Warren Hauff's angst-ridden vocals. "Just a Joke" is a Seattle throwback, mixing The Pixies with Nirvana. "Like a Man" features a Breeders-like bass line.
"Brand New Satellite" could be a Toadies outtake, and "My Way to Hell" veers into Mighty Mighty Bosstones territory, with a ska guitar and drum beat. The EP features some bonuses: videos for "Like a Man" and "My Way to Hell" are here, and the band's humor shows on "Intermission," which is basically a radio or concert intro for the band.
If you're in the mood for a little grunge, or need to rock out for a while, this may be your cup of tea."
-- Brian A. Smith, The Phantom Tollbooth
"When I heared your music, I love it so much, it ease the pain I felt before"
-- Alfred in the Philippines
"4.5 stars out of 5. Instantly likeable. It just grooves. It's raw, but just cool."
-- Band Radio
"Put a little grunge in your day. Channeling Kurt and doing it well!"
-- CBC TV/Radio (Canada)
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