's slightly derivative '90s punk has a youthful bounce on this debut, but when compared to their obvious influences (Face to Face, Social Distortion
), the songwriting on Better Days
just doesn't hold up. After the punkers dropped a couple 7" singles in their home town of Sacramento, CA, SoCal punk homestead Dr. Dream Records hooked up with Welt
, eventually releasing three full-lengths before the label folded in the late '90s. Bassist/vocalist/songwriter Jason Cooper
does a good job leading his bandmates through 14-tracks of punk-by-the-numbers, but his lyrics and choruses have a pedestrian flavor. Tracks like "Better Days" and "Always in My Way" are typically forgettable examples of Cooper's sketchy songwriting. Confident riffs and decent verses give way on these tracks (and others) to ill-conceived, often repetitive choruses that kill the music's momentum. Still, Better Days
to be a fairly accomplished unit with a potential that more recording and touring would eventually help the group to realize.