The last time I can recall finding myself so enticed by a band from El Paso, Texas it was twenty years ago, when I first heard post-punk legends At the Drive In. Now, Dayluta Means Kindness is scaling a different kind of mountain, and this may be the only time I mention them together with ATDI, but point being, El Paso doesn’t have the same kind of reputation as Austin, so it’s nice to see someone carrying the torch for the city. The band released an EP entitled The Ground is Lava in 2015, and this past January unveiled their first full-length, When You’re Young You’re Invincible. It’s an album well-worth thorough investigation, but the focus today is on the monstrous penultimate track “Young Savagery and General Debauchery.”
The song actually made an appearance in a slightly different form on The Ground Is Lava, but after some tinkering has re-emerged as the central masterwork on their most recent effort. The song starts innocently enough with placid, interweaving guitar melodies that inspire a pleasant drifting of the consciousness – standard post-rock foundation-laying. However, at around two and a half minutes, there is a shift to a strummed riff that is not aggressive in the least, but has a sense of mounting emotion teeming with desperate longing ready to burst forth, not unlike another seminal Texas post-punk/emo group, Austin’s Mineral.
And burst forth it does. The moment at around the 4-minute mark when everyone stomps their distortion pedals in unison is the point at when Dayluta Means Kindness begins an ascent to heights. What they are doing isn’t breaking barriers or changing the dynamics of the genre, but it is unequivocally taking familiar sonic textures and pushing them to be their absolute best. “Young Savagery and General Debauchery” continues through its non-stop climactic second half baiting even the most reserved listeners to pull out their air guitars and soar alongside the band in spreading the sermon of a genre which can provide something akin to a spiritual experience when it reaches its nexus point. Similar to what Signals to Vega accomplished back in 2013 with “Fear Not the Cycle of Life,” Dayluta Means Kindness has essentially emerged from out of nowhere to bless us with what will undoubtedly be one of the year’s best post-rock songs.
Check out “Young Savagery and General Debauchery” here, as well as on the “Hemispheres, Vol. 1” comp released by A Thousand Arms as a free download in January, and if it’s to your liking, dive deeper into When You’re Young You’re Invincible via their Bandcamp page.