For their eighth album, long-running, prolific, DIY folk-punk -- or "thrashgrass," if you will -- band Days N Daze have branched out from their usual method of self-releasing and self-recording by teaming with Fat Wreck Chords and making the album in a studio with modern recording equipment and help from Old Man Markley's John Carey, and Fat Mike's production team the D-Composers. "I remember so clearly the first time that I got through an entire take, but my thumb hit the strings on my strumming hand," vocalist/guitarist Jesse Sendejas said. "I was like, ‘Well, great, we'll just punch right it there,’ and John was like, ‘No.’ He cut and pasted that same strum from earlier in the song and put it in, and that blew my goddamn mind! It’s like sorcery!" Vocalist/trumpet player Whitney Flynn added, "Those years of us recording ourselves prepared us for being like, ‘Oh, this is a cakewalk.'"

The band calls the decision to work with a label and producers "terrifying" and "massively intimidating," but also "awesome," and they add that "with these tools, we're only gonna do more." And going by the sound of their new album Show Me the Blueprints, they already have done more. Their earlier work is great, but the cleaner production and better mix of Blueprints really brings out what was already so appealing about Days N Daze. And it might be a little cleaner and a little more collaborative, but Days N Daze still sound as fiercely DIY in spirit as they ever have.

At this point, the band really have a sound they can call their own -- folk punk is at the core of this album, but the phrase "folk punk" (or even "thrashgrass") doesn't really cover how much Days N Daze pack into these songs. There's a ska-like side from Whitney's trumpet lines, a raw hardcore side from the moments Jesse and Whitney bring their voices to a gnarly scream, and a dare-I-say-pop-punk side just from how damn catchy these choruses are. And Blueprints really reminds you that DnD's "-grass" suffix is earned. Not only is the band rounded out by a washboard (Meagan Melancon) and gutbucket (Geoff Bell) player, but they really channel bluegrass and other traditional folk styles in their music. They're very much a punk band, but they sound as indebted to centuries-old folk music as, say, The Decemberists. There's a lot going on here lyrically too, with topics spanning from the sad state of politics to more personal subjects like addiction, and Days N Daze deliver it all with conviction. I know folk punk gets a bad rap (undeservingly!), but this is a really special, genre-defying record that I recommend checking out even if you don't think you like this kinda stuff.

The album officially drops Friday (5/1) via Fat (pre-order), but you can hear it right now - we're premiering a stream of the whole thing below.

Also, DnD will do a live Q&A on their Instagram story today (4/30) at 8 PM ET. Whitney also recently did a solo livestream for Rubbish Records that you can watch an archive of here starting at the 4:28:56 mark.

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And here's a gallery of photos of Days N Daze at Punk Island 2019: