Review: Allday excites with unexpected, yet tasteful guitar-laden shift on new LP

Written by Michael Hilliard
Friday, 4 June 2021

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I came into this record expecting the laid-back hip hop I remembered Melbourne artist Allday for.

I have many strong memories of long Sunday sessions listening to his signature brew of warm stripped-back spacey guitars and pre club late-night cigarettes, so at first I was slightly taken back by the big shift that Allday (Tom Gaynor) took into this new record, "Drinking With My Smoking Friends".

Even from the album's opener “Void”, it is obvious that the guitars will be taking centre stage for a good chunk of the record, adding a sense of much needed buoyancy to Gaynor's songwriting. The new album is a surprising combination of 90’s guitar drivers like the Lemonheads or the Pixies, with the added solid musical spine of someone like The Neighbourhood. The two influences work well to combine like vodka and orange juice, creating a thoughtful palette of sharp lyrics with a sweet overtone of pushing guitars, and from the first sip I was on board for the ride. 
 
A big highlight from the album for me would be the amazing to and fro between upbeat summer afternoon tunes like “After all this Time”, and the late-night solid drive tracks like “Stolen Cars”, exhibiting the vastly widened and matured musical palette from Gaynor himself.

Allday pushes himself more than he has in recent times on this album trying a brand new direction for himself, and in my opinion, it is 100% paying off. This album feels like an artist taking a first step in a brand new pair of sneakers, and if I were a betting man I would suggest that this journey will be taking him to newer, even better territory in the future. I eagerly await the next release. 
 
Rating 4/5

"Drinking With My Smoking Friends" is out now via Allday Music/Believe. Tickets for his upcoming Australian tour this August can be found here.

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Michael Hilliard is a journalist and the host of geopolitical podcast "The Red Line Podcast". He has also guest hosted "Barre Talk".

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