Jangle-pop gems from Orlando's Daisy Chain, and a split single from Grave Return and the Hamiltons impresses

Daisy-Chain
Daisy-Chain Photo by Matthew Moyer

Finding an identity is typically an evolutionary process for young bands. But not for Orlando’s Daisy-Chain. From the outset, they were going for something specific. When I first encountered them at a Will’s Pub show in early 2020, all they had to their name was a single. But from that brief opening set, it was clear from both look and sound that they would be one of the most distinctive bands to emerge from here in a while.

Now, Daisy-Chain further that high style on their new Blue Dreams EP. Their first release in nearly two years, this sophomore collection plays like a batch of lost gems from the British new-wave underground. A lithe and economical merger of jangle-pop sparkle and post-punk hues, these six songs beam with young romance and feature simple, lovely melodies that are kept to their shining essence.

As Blue Dreams amply attests, Daisy-Chain are an auspicious band with easy melodic instinct and keen aesthetic sense. The EP is an instant charm and Daisy-Chain’s most crystallized work yet. Blue Dreams now streams everywhere, but it’s also up on Bandcamp as a name-your-price download.

Studio albums and live shows are their own discrete things. But with very few exceptions, there’s always something essential lost in translation when it comes to concert records. DCxPC Live’s latest release, however, does a good job of bridging the gap, capturing the lightning of live performance with little of the less-than-ideal field conditions of concert recordings.

Volume 6 of DCxPC Live — the local label, promoter and all-around advocate of live music — is a split record that pairs Grave Return with the Hamiltons, a head-on of two of the city’s most credentialed punk outfits. While the recording is a true live capture, it was done as part of a livestream event at a proper studio, Orlando punk bastion the Danger Room.

Befitting their experience and pedigree, both bands deliver sturdy performances here. Across two songs each, Grave Return rip propulsive, darkly melodic drives and the Hamiltons flex raw muscle that verges on noise rock. In all, Grave Return & The Hamiltons Live at the Danger Room is an impressive bottling of the live power of two of Orlando’s leading punk lights. The split release is available on Bandcamp both digitally and as a 7-inch red vinyl record. Jump on this fast, because the vinyl is a super-limited run of only 150.

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About The Author

Bao Le-Huu

Music columnist.
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