Our top 10 Days of the New songs list digs deep into the music of an American rock band that rose to success in the late ‘90s with its acoustic rock-tinged alternative rock sound. Initially, the band was formed in the mid-‘90s by guitarist/vocalist Travis Meeks as his acoustic solo project. Among the members who joined Travis to form the band’s classic lineup include drummer Matt Taul, bassist Jesse Vest, and lead guitarist Todd Whitener. Days of the New was active for the better part of the late ‘90s and early 2000s, releasing three studio albums all of which were successful in the mainstream.
Days of the New’s Career Beginnings and Breakthrough
After his success working with alternative rock acts such as Nirvana, The Replacements, and R.E.M., producer Scott Litt extended signed Days of the New in his short-lived label Outpost Recordings. Other distinguished artists/acts that were signed to Outpost recordings in the late ‘90s include Veruca Salt, Whiskeytown, Hayden, and The Crystal Method. Signing a recording contract with Outpost Recordings marked the band’s breakthrough moment, issuing three studio albums under the label. Unfortunately, the band’s success in the alternative rock scene failed to endure partly because of differences amongst its members, resulting in lineup changes.
Days of the New’s Album Releases over the Years
In 1997, the band issued its debut studio album Days of the New (Yellow). The album finds the band venturing into the alternative rock sound with notable elements of post-grunge and acoustic rock. Thanks to the prodigious production skills of Scott Litt and the band’s musicianship the album was a mainstream success. Days of the New (Yellow) topped the Billboard Top Heatseekers Chart.
The album also topped the New Zealand Albums Chart, rising to a peak position of number forty-seven on the ARIA Albums Chart. Days of the New (Yellow) was also a commercial success, earning platinum certification from RIAA. “Touch, Peel and Stand,” “Shelf in the Room,” “The Down Town,” “Face of the Earth,” and “Where I Stand” are the best Days of the New songs from the album. The album was platinum-certified in the US and Canada, earning a gold certification in New Zealand.
Days of the New embarked on a tour with Jerry Cantrell of Alice in Chains and Metallica shortly after issuing its debut album. Of course, touring with the two acts was quite a huge deal owing to the success they had amassed. However, this wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea, especially band’s frontman Travis who preferred acts like Dave Matthews Band, owing to Days of the New’s acoustic-tinged alternative rock sound.
Sadly, Travis Meeks lost his classic instrumentation department owing to personal and creative differences. Drummer Matt Taul, bassist Jesse Vest, and guitarist Todd Whitener went on to form a hard rock/alternative metal band performing under the moniker Tantric. The trio contracted Hugo Ferreira to take on the lead vocals. Tantric’s debut album was a success, earning the band commercial success (gold-certified).
In 1999, Travis Meeks led his band (with new personnel) in releasing its sophomore studio album Days of the New (Green). The album saw the band take on an amalgam of alternative rock, acoustic rock, and folk rock. Travis Meeks, Days of the New’s lead vocalist is joined by Todd Smith on the production of this album with legendary producer Scott Litt primarily tasked with mixing duties.
Among the distinguished additional personnel contracted for this album is a former member of The Pussycat Dolls, Nicole Scherzinger. While Days of the New (Green) was a mainstream success, it failed to impress commercially compared to the band’s debut album. Nevertheless, the album is home to top musical gems including “Weapon and the Wound,” “Enemy,” “Flight Response,” and “Take Me Back Then.”
In 2000, Days of the New recorded material for a new album. However, the band waited until September 2001 to issue Days of the New (Red) following the retooling and remixing of the songs by producer Ronnie Aniello. Ronnie is best known for his impactful work with Barenaked Ladies, Shania Twain, Bruce Springsteen, Moshav Band, Gavin DeGraw, and Lifehouse. In this album, we find the band blending its staple acoustic rock influences with alternative metal and post-grunge sounds.
Days of the New (Red) was a mainstream success, peaking at number ninety-one on the Billboard 200. The album was barely successful commercially selling slightly over ninety thousand album copies. “Die Born,” “Hang on to This,” “Dirty Road,” “Once Again,” and “Days in Our Life” are the best Days of the New songs from the album. After the release of this album, Days of the New toured with reputable artists including 3 Doors Down and Creed.
Days of the New’s Legacy
Despite not being active in releasing music, Days of the New remains one of the significant alternative rock outfits from the late ‘90s. Days of the New’s amalgam of alternative rock with acoustic rock elements evokes sound influences of Alice in Chains’ 1994 EP Jars of Flies and MTV Unplugged. Additionally, Trevor Meeks’ vocal delivery is evocative of Mad Season and Alice in Chains’ original vocalist Layne Staley. Some critics have cited his lyricism and vocal agility to be comparable to The Doors‘ former singer Jim Morrison. Here we present the ten best Days of the New songs of all time.
#10- Dirty Road
Ushering us to the top 10 Days of the New songs list is the splendid hit “Dirty Road.” The song is featured on the band’s third studio album Days of the New (Red). “Dirty Road” is among the songs that find Trevor Meeks unbridling his Jim Morrison-Esque vocal delivery style.
Earlier in 2000, Days of the New issued cover songs of The Doors hits “L.A. Woman” and “The End” with Trevor’s seemingly paying homage to Morrison’s crooning style. His vocals manage to bring out the angst and frustrations communicated loud in this song’s lyrics. “Dirty Road” starts with some acoustic rock influences before alternative rock-tinted guitar riffs dominate the song’s groove. The song’s lyrics feel like a Trevor Meeks’ monologue about a battle in his mind and its resolution.
#9- Where I Stand
Days of the New (Yellow) was (and remains) a grandiose album that showcases passion and unadulterated musicianship of the band’s classic lineup. It is almost hard to believe that the band members were in their teenage years at the time this record was made owing to the great musicianship they showcase in most of the songs. “Where I Stand” is among the top songs from Days of the New (Yellow) which proves why the band’s beginnings were massively successful.
This guitar-led ballad oozes captivating acoustic rock influences in the beginning. However, “Where I Stand” has its additional instrumentation steer it back to post-grunge inflections. The song’s smooth layered vocal arrangements combined with impressive hand percussions add glamour to the song’s overall quality.
#8- Weapon and The Wound
Haunting lyrical content and an outstanding acoustic section are the most notable elements of this slow-tempo classic rock ballad “Weapon and The Wound.” The song is among the top musical gems featured on the band’s sophomore studio album, Days of the New (Green). We won’t shy away from saying that Trevor’s vocals in this song feel quite powerful and most of all unique/original.
The power in his delivery makes this song quite an energetic ballad despite being a tad bit slow. “Weapon and The Wound” was a mainstream success peaking at the tenth spot on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks Chart.
#7- Hang on to This
“Hang on to This” is among the most revered songs by Days of the New that grew to become fan-favorite radio hits. The song serves as the lead track off the band’s third studio album, Days of the New (Red). “Hang on to This” finds Days of the New returning to post-grunge sounds noticeable tinges of acoustic rock.
At some point, the heavy electric guitar riffs featured on “Hang on to This” drive its sound to alternative metal influences. “Hang on to This” is the band’s last hit to make it to the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks Chart, peaking at number eighteen.
#6- Take Me Back to This
Number six on our ten best Days of the New songs list is the impressive hit “Take Me Back to This.” The song is among the top musical gems featured on Days of the New (Green). “Take Me Back to This” is an acoustic-led hit, lacking the heavy riffs of the electric guitars as seen with most songs from the band’s debut studio album. Trevor Meeks continues with his signature acoustic guitar notes which are impressive, to say the least.
The presence of a former member of The Pussycat Dolls, Nicole Scherzinger on the backing vocals is quite the gamechanger. Without a doubt, Nicole Scherzinger’s backing croons compliments Trevor’s vocal delivery on this song. Another song that gives us a taste of Trevor and Nicole’s enchanting harmony-driven vocal delivery is “Phonics of Tragedy.”
#5- Die Born
Despite never making it big in the mainstream, “Die Born” remains one of the most revered hits by Days of the New enemy. The song is featured on the band’s third studio album Days of the New (Red). “Die Born” features a strong vocal delivery by the band’s vocalist Trevor Meeks. Trevor Meeks’ distinctive vocals combine with the aggressive acoustic rock sound (acoustic rock tinged with alternative metal and post-grunge) to bring the best out of his solid musicianship.
#4- Shelf in the Room
“Shelf in the Room” is yet another fan-favorite track by Days of the New from the band’s debut studio album. The song finds the band exploring a luscious blend of acoustic rock, post-grunge, and alternative rock sound influences. “Shelf in the Room” has its lyrics, penned by Trevor, alluding to emotional stability and loneliness.
The song is a mellow ballad delivered with a beautiful melody. “Shelf in the Room” was a mainstream success rising to the third spot on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks Chart. The song also made it to number twenty-two on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks Chart, gracing the ARIA Singles Chart at number ninety.
Days of the New (Green), the band’s sophomore outing, is home to the third pick of our ten best Days of the New songs “Enemy.” The song’s sound drifts a little owing to electronic percussions featured on the song. This almost diminishes the band’s acoustic rock sound. However, Trevor’s signature acoustic guitar notes can be noticed from afar, best expressed halfway through this track.
The song was a mainstream success, rising to the tenth spot on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks Chart. “Enemy” had its accompanying music video receive rotation on MTV. The song made it to the second spot on the Billboard Mainstream Rocks Tracks, peaking at the tenth spot on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks Chart.
#2- The Down Town
We find our way back to the band’s debut studio album to experience the best of Days of the New’s blend of acoustic rock and post-grunge sounds in the song “The Down Town.” “The Down Town” has its lyrics, penned by Trevor Meeks, allude to a city of drug addicts who are anxious about trashing the use of drugs. The song’s lyrics are a little suggestive of Trevor’s struggle with drug use.
You ought to love the infectious rhythms and the aggressive (yet incredible) delivery of this hit! “The Down Town” was a mainstream success, having made it to the nineteenth spot on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks Chart. The song topped the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks Chart in July 1998. Its ten weeks period atop the chart was broken by the hit “What’s This Life For” by Creed.
#1- Touch, Peel and Stand
Number one on our top 10 Days of the New songs list is the alluring hit “Touch, Peel and Stand.” The song is the band’s signature hit off Days of the New (Yellow). “Touch, Peel and Stand” brings out Trevor’s unadulterated skills on the acoustic guitar. Special mention to Matt Taul’s impressive percussions on this track. “Touch, Peel and Stand” was a mainstream success topping the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks Chart.
The song was toppled off the top spot in the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks by “Given to Fly” by Pearl Jam after its sixteen weeks reign. “Touch, Peel and Stand” also made it to the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay peaking at number fifty-seven. Together with “The Down Town,” “Touch, Peel and Stand” were nominated for the Top Rock Song accolade in the 1998 Billboard Music Award ceremony. However, the two songs lost to “Blue on Black” by Kenny Wayne Shepherd.
Feature Photo: Mubashir Abbas Zaidi / Shutterstock
Top 10 Days Of The New Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2022
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