As I type it’s a pretty typical day here in the UK. In other words it’s dark, dank and raining but luckily I have the All Day Sucker CD to brighten my mood and transport me to sunny California. This is a very fine record, a near perfect mix of classic pop, soul and funk with harmonies that would grace a Jellyfish or Beach Boys album.
All Day Sucker have an interesting history and Denim Days is actually their third time at bat. The fact they aren’t more well-known and selling heaps of records is more a reflection on the music business in 2015 than the ability of the band and their stellar tunes. Effectively formed around the duo of Jordan Summers (Keys) and Morty Coyle (vocals) the songwriters have been playing together since high school, originally in The iMPOSTERS a band which would become a fixture in Hollywood throughout the 1990’s with stints at all the clubs including a two year Sunday night residency at The Viper Room. The band attracted a who’s who of the Hollywood scene to their shows with guests that included Adam Duritz, Stephen Stills and Benmont Tench. They also handed opening support slots to future headline acts The Wallflowers and Maroon 5. The duo continues to keep busy around Hollywood with The F.O.C.K.R’s and Men Without Sex a party covers band.
Summers and Coyle have, in the best tradition of Steely Dan, surrounded themselves with a hot band that features long time guitarist Jay Gore (Michael McDonald, Lauryn Hill) and the rhythm section of Dan Rothchild (Heart, Beck, Fiona Apple) and David Goodstein (Daniel Powter, Jackson Browne). Rothchild produced Denim Days which should not come as a surprise when your previous credits, as a producer, include the platinum selling ‘Deluxe’ by Better Than Ezra.
‘Denim Days’ is an insistently infectious opener with a rock solid drum track, spiky guitar fills, pulsing keys, pumping bass and quite glorious harmonies all wrapped around a terrific chorus. The extended middle eight features a brilliantly inventive vocal section that, I guarantee, will bring a smile to your face. ‘Quality Problems’ is a cool showcase for the musicianship on display as the keys fizz and gurgle while guitars flit in and out. At the risk of repeating myself the vocals are again a thing of beauty. ‘The Single’ is not, as you might assume, a plea for a hit single but a meditation on the state of being single and growing old alone that wouldn’t be out of place on a Jellyfish record, which is high praise indeed. Nice solo from Jay Gore to top things off.
The middle of the album shows the band are equally adept with pop or funk as ‘The Girl With The Denim Eyes’ kicks things back up a notch with crashing guitars, swirling organ and Morty Coyle throws in the odd scat vocal and even a whistle. The silky smooth ‘Listening To The Liars’ that follows is summery pop of the highest order that shouts “Made In California” all big harmonies and a lovely jazzy solo from Gore. ‘Faded’ will strike a chord with anyone who has heard a song on the radio after a breakup and the song has taken on a new meaning. Morty Coyle has stated that he experienced a change in his personal circumstances during the writing for the album which makes for a set of songs that we can all relate to. The funk is back for ‘No Hard Feelings’ on which the whole band are really on song with some impressive playing as the super tight rhythm section allows plenty of room for Summers and Gore to shine.
I could go on but, to be honest, with a perfect mix of songs, musicianship and quite superb harmonies All Day Sucker are the real deal and this really is a fantastic album. It’s the album you tell your friends about. It’s the album your buy for friends as a present because they really should have it in their collections. It really is that good.