Winters in the Northeast are no joke – I surely don’t need to tell any of our Buffalonian readers that. Our neighbors across Lake Erie in Cleveland might know a thing or two about how to get through a brutal winter, too… Something like: watch your football team lose in heartbreaking fashion and promptly go back to drinking and shoveling for the next four months, and somewhere in that time span maybe write a song or two. Cleveland-based act The Daze know this exact pain. The rock n’ roll duo (Eddie Grier on vocals, guitar, bass, and keys and Basil Johnson on organ, drums, and percussion) channeled their teenage angst into a gritty ten-song album they’re calling Methomania. While Methomania is a term that is archaic for “alcoholism,” the album also touches on themes of addiction, growing up, and anxiety.

The Daze was formed by a group of high school friends in 2020 during the heyday of the COVID-19 lockdown. Three years later, the duo honed their sound, a potent mix of psychedelic rock and grunge, into a full-length album. Methomania (released in June of 2023) was self-recorded in their high school studio – this rawness is evident throughout Methomania, but also perfectly captures the sound of youth finding their way as songwriters, musicians, and performers. Full of ratty distortion, big riffs, and fun drumbeats, Methomania will bring you back to the primal energy of performing in your first band, after you finally honed in your fuzz pedal and learned a thing or two about songwriting, of course.

Album opener “Falling For Nothing” is one of the best moments on the album – with it’s growling bass intro reminiscent of “Would?” by Alice in Chains, it soon explodes into a droning sea of guitar, reminiscent of early-era Smashing Pumpkins. The Daze, notably songwriter Eddie Grier here, writes in a straightforward way, detailing sadness and pain with a refreshing sense of honesty that belies his young years:

and anywhere we go,
I feel alone with slight discomfort
I need to let you know
I’m running out of all the answers
I’m falling, I’m falling, I’m falling for nothing, nothing…

Song two, title-track, “Methomania,” is another album highlight – a straight-to-the-bone laceration of alcoholism and its affects on everyone it touches. Beyond the vitriolic lyrics, “Methomania” has some of the dankest guitar tones on the album, particularly in the intro. Power chords soaked in fuzz with guitar leads soaring high above – it screams rock ‘n roll and perfectly embodies the rage these Clevelanders must feel deep down.  There’s also track four, “New Wave War” – a dark, delay-soaked intro foreshadows an otherwise explosive song that’s heavy on double-bass shenanigans. We don’t typically leap at songs that lean political, but The Daze does well to sing in metaphors here, letting the guitars and passionate vocals sell an emotional story.

Other album highlights include the wry, emotional chord progression and catchy melodies on the chorus of “Pushing Triggers,” a perfect balancing act that levels out the stabby funk found on the verses. “Pop Song for Heartbreak” offers an upbeat sounding power-pop intro (think The Cars) before breaking into the spitty distortion we’ve come to know and love. There’s also the beautiful chorus tone on “Rain,” which never sounds out of place, even when the band launches into their tried-and-true distortion mid-song. “Shoreline” could be a Bleach-era Nirvana outtake, with its quiet-loud structure and tinny, Fender Mustang guitar twang.

No matter what, be sure to stick around for the powerful closer, “Bleed Me Out.” The concept of the “closing song” is a dying art, and The Daze absolutely nail it on this slow burning heartwrencher.

Methomania is available now via most streaming services – check it out below via Bandcamp or on Spotify.