Coming bursting out of the gates with a fire that rivals that of Fifteen or Brand New, Selfmademan inflicts their brutal, political vision of screamo on their audience. “Who Will Sing To This” spirals more and more out of control, with a barrage of different instruments coming into play. Slipping a little bit, Jay’s vocals and corresponding guitar work is needlessly plastic during “Listen Closely This Time”, with a breakdown I’ve heard done a number of other times. However, the incredibly catchy lyrics is the reason why this song isn’t relegated to the bin of forgetfulness, with such Against Me!-like lines as “they’ll try to come to you, and sell you their economics again/…/on how to bridge the gap between north and south”. “Quid Pro Quo”, as well as a decent chunk of the disc, has the double-edged sword of refreshing political frankness while doing virtually nothing to further the scope of their musical prowess.
While saying that there is not much musically new on this disc, I would be remiss in not mentioning some of the more juicy and interesting progressions, such as in the bridge for the aforementioned “Quid Pro Quo”. Moving even closer to the mainstream sound enjoyed by such acts as the All-American Rejects and Yellowcard, Selfmademan inserts anti-conformist messages left and right that will only be consciously picked up by the most hardcore listener. The bass, lost amongst the distortion for the vast majority of this disc, finally makes its aural debut on “Numbered Like A Calendar”, chugging along with the hooky, metallic (a la Avenged Sevenfold or Sum41) the guitar. Moving into the dredges of forgetful semi-ballad mode with “Pipeline”, Selfmademan tries to elicit the ghosts of At the Drive-In, only coming into their element with an acoustic track that is still yet cracking with electricity in “When Everything’s Dead We Come Alive”. It is “When Everything” that actually sells the disc to me; the strumminess of the guitars provides a more-than-adequate, nay, a perfect slate for lyrics such as “Your money ain’t worth shit no more, can’t buy a thing:”
Overall, The Daylight Robbery is a solid album, but it does tend to suffer at times from the same general sound of each track, much like Deja Entendu did for Brand New. In this metaphor, “Our Great Redistribution” is Selfmademan’s “Guernica”; incredibly fast-paced, it condenses the most emotional states of the band into a truly-rocking track. Continuing the rock laid down by “Our Great Redistribution”, Selfmademan rocks out in the French-language “Le Dernier Argument Des Rois”, ending the disc on a much higher energy than it started out.
Rating : 7.2/10
Top Tracks : Our Great Redistribution, Quid Pro Quo
Selfmademan – The Daylight Robbery / 2003 Smallman Records / 10 Tracks / http://www.selfmademan.cjb.net / http://www.smallmanrecords.com / Reviewed 15 October 2003 / Released 07 October 2003