Album Review: Dayseeker’s What It Means to Be Defeated

Dayseeker album review - What It Means To Be Defeated

Orange County natives, Dayseeker, have recently received lots of well-deserved attention, with their signing to InVogue Records and the release of their full-length debut, What It Means to Be Defeated. After more than a year of playing California shows and expanding their repertoire, they finally have a cohesive finished product to share with the masses!

The new record surpasses any expectations of a post-hardcore debut, fusing heartfelt vocals with heavy yet melodic instrumentals that do not rely upon unnecessary breakdowns and a six-string bass guitar. With lyrical content and musical expertise far beyond their years, Dayseeker tackles the deep-seated issues that plague all of us at one point or another, making this record highly relatable and so immensely human.

Dayseeker What It Means To Be Defeated tracklisting

The deeply introspective first track, “Black Earth,” sets the tone for this record with the questioning of one’s self-worth.Beginning with a sense of despair and hopelessness, it shifts to the possibility of redemption and a reclaiming of power. These themes carry over into “Collision.Survive” (always a crowd favorite), which describes a literal and figurative revival, while emphasizing the precious nature of life and the mission to embrace it while it’s ours.

The concept of relationships, romantic and otherwise, makes its way into this record, but with a perspective rarely explored. On the angrier side of this album, the ferocious “Incinerate” evokes pure rage and fury with lyrics of revenge and hard-hitting guitar work. The title track “What It Means to Be Defeated” delves into the effect relationships have on one’s sense of self-worth and meaning. Towards the end of the album, “Sleep in the Sea” addresses the inability to reach out to a loved one, crossing over into “The Home We Built” with the painful refrain, “There is a hole in my heart.”

Questions of any sense of purpose or meaning are prevalent throughout the record. In “Hollow Shell,” a conversation between the speaker and a higher power addresses life’s painstaking trials and the rewards that may follow.  “Dead Man” allows listeners to experience a  softer, almost ambient side of Dayseeker, and serves as a perfect intro into the following track, “Resurrect”, delves into fate and the possibility of an afterlife.

The final track, “The Quiet Disconnect,” is a painful tale of a father who has lost his son, causing the listener to reflect upon the devastation that accompanies the untimely passing of a loved one and futility of life after loss. This heart-wrenching track is the perfect outro to such a heavy record, leaving the listener contemplative and in complete awe.

The combined musical prowess of Alex Polk (guitar), Gino Sgambelluri (guitar), Andrew Sharp (bass), Mike Karle (drums), and Rory Rodriguez (vocals) results in  a jaw-dropping record that foreshadows greatness to come. As a testament to the closeness of the Orange County hardcore/metal family, the album features Garrett Russell of Silent Planet on “Sleep in the Sea” and Nate Mead of I, Of Helix on “Incinerate.”

As a year of firsts for Dayseeker, the end of 2013 will also mark the beginning of their first tour. After picking up What It Means to Be Defeated out in stores on Tuesday, make sure to check out dates for Dayseeker’s upcoming tour with Adestria, Kingdom of Giants, and Death of an Era. Don’t miss out on their impassioned live shows that have made them a household name in the OC music scene.

–Shirley Leslie

See tour dates below:

11/25 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Cobalt Café

11/26 – Bakersfield, CA @ Jerry’s Pizza

11/27 – Oakland, CA @ The Metro

11/29 – Seattle, WA @ El Corazon

12/1 – Pocatello, ID @ Elks Lodge

12/2 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The Shred Shed

12/3 – Denver, CO @ Helm’s Deep

12/4 – Kansas City, MO @ Czar Bar

12/6 – Burnsville, MN @ The Garage

12/7 – Sauk Rapids, MN @ Bubba’s

12/8 – St. Louis, MO @ Fubar

12/9 – Little Rock, AR @ Downtown Music Hall

12/10 – Dallas, TX @ Sons of Hermann Hall

12/11 – El Paso, TX @ The Spot

12/12 – Tucson, AZ @ The Rock

12/14 – Las Vegas, NV @ Eagle Hall

Check out the official video for “The Quiet Disconnect”:

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