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St. Louis melodic hardcore punks BETTER DAYS premiere debut EP!

In an age of overnight sensations and loads of records being released literally every single day, it’s heartening to pay attention to smaller bands and their amazing, passionate efforts. St. Louis melodic hardcore powerhouse BETTER DAYS (associated with another Missouri punk band we featured this week called TIME & PRESSURE) remained under the radar for the best part of 2018, only known for their duo of singles, the early August feature at NoEcho webzine, local punks and anybody who paid attention to newer local punk bands from the States. Today, we’re unveiling their debut EP dubbed Away Team 7″, slated for a September 1st release via CoinToss Records, along with the full backstory and track by track commentary from guitarist Kevin Tomorrow and vocalist/lyricist Chris V.!

St. Louis, MO melodic hardcore unit Better Days have been producing lightening fast songs that teeter between hardcore and punk for a few years now. In early 2017 Better Days re-structured their line-up adding two new members, and an arsenal of songs that are executed at breakneck speeds. Their style is reminiscent of hardcore acts like: Kill Your Idols, Gorilla Biscuits, and Reach the Sky, but executed at So-Cal skate punk tempos. 2018 and beyond will bring the opportunities of more shows, traveling, and recording – it’s safe to say Better Days shows no signs of slowing down. / CoinToss Records

Guitarist Kevin Tomorrow commented:

In July of 2016 I went in to see my doctor because I thought I was having severe asthma attacks. It turned out that I had a few cardiac events and needed surgery. I ended up having a quintuple bypass. Go big or go home, right? I was housebound for several weeks. I was missing out on a lot of things and our guitar player at the time was getting weird with us. All of this was happening right around my wife and I’s first wedding anniversary. So needless to say I was not in a good mental space. Because they had to saw my sternum in half – it was currently only held together by wire while, waiting for it to fuse back together – I couldn’t drive or even lift anything heavier than a gallon of milk. I had just gone through a another round of being housebound for several weeks – about 18 months prior- when a foot injury got severely infected, leading to a small chunk of my foot being cut back. So the boredom set in quicker and going to bad places in my head even quicker. After a couple weeks of boredom and being unsure of what was going to happen to Better Days, I picked up my guitar and started writing. I let my mindset lead the way. I wasn’t sure if these were going to be Better Days songs or for a different project. They were more focused, stripped down, and straight forward hardcore sounding than our previous releases. I wrote about 7-8 songs in that time period. After I had recovered, Better Days played two more shows and our guitar player quit via text message. After being a band for almost 7 years we still wanted to continue. So we dumped all over our previous material, I switched to guitar, and we used the songs I wrote as a foundation for the fresh start. We were lucky enough to a couple good friends join the band. We added a new bass player,  a second guitar player and were a 5 piece for the first time in several years.

01: Intro/Red Scorpion

Kevin on the music:

“Intro” was actually written about 6 months after we finished “Red Scorpion”. When we wrote “Intro” it was with the sole intention of just having a way to start the sets. Pretty quickly it got linked with “Red Scorpion”. When we went in to record “Away Team” we recorded 6 songs plus the intro so we would have choices for the record. We liked the way they sounded together recorded so we kept them that way. “Red Scorpion” was the third song of the batch of songs I wrote. What we recorded is pretty much how it was originally written. There were a few flourishes added once we gelled as a band.

Chris on the lyrics:

This is a song about how self-centered and confident we can be until the bottom drops out. People can complain about mediocre shit only causes inconvenience. It’s not until you’ve lost it all that you truly know what matters most.

02: The Last Boyscout

Kevin on the music:

This was one of the last songs I wrote while recovering. It definitely has a more somber tone than the others. It reflects how I was feeling as I got further into my recovery period. I spent pretty much morning, noon and night in my living room on the couch. I couldn’t drink alcohol. I had just quit smoking 7 months prior. I was barely eating. I was in pain a lot, because I refused to take the opioids they prescribed me; I was deathly afraid of becoming addicted to pills. These feelings came out in the vibe of this song.

Chris on the lyrics:

I wrote this timed song during and about the recent rise in white nationalist rallies. St Louis is diverse, but also suffers from blinding racial lines. I look at it like this: you’re either a fascist or you’re not. If you claim to not be, speak up for the minority groups. It’s easy to keep your eyes down and ignore the situation- ya know, but as a member of a minority group, I can tell you we’re not blind.

03: Raw Deal

Kevin on the music:

This was one of, if not the first song we wrote as a full unit. Owen (bass) had a riff already in place, and we just kind of built it from there. This will give you an idea of where we are headed muscially with our next release (yes, we’ve already started writing it). We’ve tended to take a collaborative approach to writing now that the band is in full swing. Usually someone will have a riff, and we take it from there with everyone’s input. This song was purposely made to wear our drummer out, and you can expect the same intensity going forward from us.

Chris on the lyrics:

When I joined Better Days in the very beginning, I was a terrible alcoholic. Our Demo in 2011 was called “Songs about Drinking” … I think about that a lot. How proud some people are to be drunks. For me, I am just proud to be a better human. Getting sober was the best change I could make for myself.

04: State Property

Kevin on the music:

This is the second song we finished as with the new line-up, and I had written this one while I was laid up at the house for months as well. It’s got a bit of a darker tone to it, and the ending could go on forever, so we just figured this seemed like the right one to end the first EP on.

Chris on the lyrics:

This is a song about getting over that hump of “being posi” while getting sober. This is also my feelings of guilt about being able to regularly travel and experience everything the world has to offer while others are stuck in whatever rut they may be in. My wife and I travel across the country a lot, and I purposely live my life in a manner that allows me to do so. I don’t want be the guy taking about the same good times from my 20’s, I want a lifetime of stories.


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