Punk rock has had quite the odyssey in the last half-century. Since the genre’s infancy, when the likes of The Stooges and MC5 were laying the groundwork for what would ultimately become an entirely new style of music, its most important players have always been driven by the desire to rebel; to break away from the mainstream is to find your own sound, and while Don Davis’ Chasing September project takes as much influence from pop as it does punk, it’s wholly indebted to the core values that once rocketed everyone from The Ramones to Black Flag out of obscurity. In Chasing September’s new single, “Miss You,” Davis’ true motivations for getting into the music industry become more than evident through the relentlessly passionate performance he delivers, and while he doesn’t look to change the rules with this latest release, it’s made abundantly clear to listeners that he is intent on redefining the parameters of the game as they apply to underground artists. “Miss You” is all muscle and zero filler, and though it’s steeped in a slightly formulaic approach to songwriting, it’s nevertheless one of the best new alternative rock songs I’ve heard in a long time.

As much as the riffing captivates the audience in this single, I found the interplay between the bassline and the drums produces far more tonal expressiveness than any other combined elements in this track. There’s so much we can learn about the narrative beyond Davis’ enigmatic lyrics here through the very joining of the bottom-end punch and the hollow-point grooves in “Miss You,” and to some degree, I think that the instrumentation itself does a lot more to solidify the emotionality in the music than any of the actual verses do.

This isn’t to say that the lyrical content here is halfhearted – far from it – but more to simply acknowledge just how multilayered a composer Don Davis can be when he pulls out the big guns for a new song. His lead vocal didn’t need quite as much oomph as it was afforded in the mix, but at the same time, I understand the sonic equilibrium he was trying to achieve in this single.

I’ve been following Chasing September for a minute now, and though I had some big expectations coming into this review of “Miss You,” I’m pleased to say that this is probably the most mature and efficiently-structured song Don Davis has released in this capacity so far. While I don’t think he’s making the most of his skillset just yet, especially with regards to expanding on the phenomenal riffage he’s shared in his first three singles as Chasing September, but if given a bit more time to develop his craft without any external pressures, there’s no reason to believe that he won’t be able to strike a good balance between the wonderfully angular points in his sonic profile (particularly after listening to the evidence of his eminence presented to us in “Miss You”). I’ll be keeping an eye on his growth, and I recommend you do the same.

Nicole Killian

About The Author

Nicole Killian

Nicole loves to go cross country skiing, swimming, reading and critiquing books, listening and critiquing music, some culinary arts, pottery, spending time with my daughter, cheesy horror films.

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