Studio output from New Years Day has been fairly non-existent since the 2015 release ‘Malevolence’, although vocalist Ash Costello did deliver one of the albums of 2017 when she teamed up with Piggy D in The Haxans. To tide fans over until the new album is ready, New Years Day have released the six track ‘Diary Of A Creep’ EP as a stop-gap. One new track, as well as five covers, cherry picked from artists as diverse as Pantera, New Order, and No Doubt. The new track ‘Disgust Me’ will be familiar to those that caught the band on last year’s Vans Warped Tour, where it was aired, but here you can check it out in all its bombastic glory. The bounce-ability factor is strong with this one, the heady blend of electronica, samples, fizzing guitars, and a thumping drum sound help get the juices flowing in readiness for the long-awaited new album… then we have the covers…
New Order, were one of the most influential British bands in the 80’s. Joy Division were too moody for me, but New Order? I’ll readily admit to a modest liking of Peter Hook et al, apart from ‘World In Motion’, that is. Try dancing to the 12” mix of ‘Blue Monday’ at a school disco, like running a fucking marathon mate, but you could dance to them. Here, New Years Day go with ‘Bizarre Love Triangle’. The poppy electronics are turned down for a ‘Dr Feelgood’ bass-heavy intro that sounds massive when cranked all the way up. Guitars didn’t feature much in the New Order sound, but here, the 2018 version is full of them. The drum sound is huge. It could be a mix of traditional drums and a drum machine, but whichever way it came together, it is huge. How do you follow up an iconic Manchester band from the 80’s? By going in the totally opposite direction, that’s how. It takes guts to cover Pantera, but extra marks for going with ‘Fucking Hostile’. The perfect adrenaline-fuelled three minutes that every metal band wished they had written. Here, Ash Costello gets her chance to unleash her inner Anselmo. It’s hard to believe that some people might be hearing ‘Fucking Hostile’ for the first time, but New Years Day do it great justice and deliver a stunning, modern version of a bonafide metal classic. Haters will inevitably hate, it is Pantera being covered after all, but take the blinkers off and go with it. If taking on Pantera takes guts, then covering Linkin Park’s ‘Crawling’ takes Godzilla-sized balls! The death of Chester Bennington is still a very raw topic for many, therefore covering ‘Crawling’ is a tricky situation. Do you go totally by the book out of respect, or do you put your own twist on it? New Years Day do a bit of both, the emotive vocals from Costello are hair-raising as she delivers an emotional performance of a highly emotional song.
Shirley Manson was/is a maverick performer from time when rock music was arguably devoid of female role models. Strong, feminine, and with a killer ‘don’t-mess-with-me’ Scottish attitude, Manson provided the vocals on what is perhaps the best alt-rock album ever. The eponymous debut from Garbage had some killer tracks on it, and here New Years Day opt for ‘Only Happy When It Rains’. The drum-heavy intro soon grows into one of the catchiest choruses ever, and Ash Costello is joined by Lzzy Hale, providing her trademark powerhouse vocal range. It’s a great version of a fantastic song. It’s reimagined, reinvigorated, and features powerful performances from two vocalists paying homage to a trailblazer. The EP finishes with a hugely cinematic version of No Doubt’s ‘Don’t Speak’. The massive arrangements give it a darker, twisted vibe from the original, and again, the killer drum sound comes blasting out of the speakers. As stop-gaps go, ‘Diary Of A Creep’ is perfect. We just need the new album now, guys… oh, and a tour, please.
Available now through Century Media, more details here.
Review: Dave Stott