There's a late 1980s, early 1990s echo in Division Day's sophomore album, Visitation. "Reservoir" rings of the Cranberries' 1994 war song "Zombie" and other songs emit ethereal, industrial threads of Depeche Mode.
Nostalgia's easy to love, but in some ways Visitation is like watching film mannerisms from decades ago—mildly entertaining but mostly antiquated. And they don't necessarily utilize the best sounds of previous decades. The Pink Floyd haze in "Azalean" goes on forever and the Top Gun-styled guitar solos are too much. That said, Division Day's style itself isn't obnoxious. In fact, at times it becomes so easy listening—as with the sax solo in "Carrier"—that it all but flatlines.
It's when Division Day strips down its sound in "Black Crow" that you get a feel for the band's potential. Rhoner Segnitz' raw vocals combined with simple piano chords evoke more emotion than over-the-top sax and guitar solos. And "Chalk Lines" feels inventive, like if the Shins were a '90s new wave band.
Division Day's true secret weapon is its lyrics. Segnitz delivers lines like, "Pulling brick apart my shovel found a dark green horse fashioned from malachite...I listened to him breath." Too bad such odd poetics get buried under less-than-spectacular soundscapes.
Division Day plays the Palace Thursday, Sept. 10, at 9 PM with Bad Veins and Places. $7..