By Jeremy Hallock
By James Khubiar
By Observer Staff
By Kelly Dearmore
By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
The improvement is obvious; every song on the album, from rockers to pensive ballads, sounds layered and thick. [DARYL] points to Sikes' experience and wisdom in making the band sound better than ever, but the way the liner notes tell it, Silvers took the reins by playing an average of four instruments per song. [DARYL]'s ambition was hinted at years ago in The Technology, and that ambition finally found a match in the support of Stuart Sikes.
"Dylan's got a gazillion ideas, and I don't know if he'd ever had the time to actually experiment with his songs. I felt if I didn't do as much as I could, it wasn't fair to him," Sikes says. "It's pretty rare you see somebody that devoted to his band."
Ohio also benefits from a head-spinning number of cameos, including Cursive's Tim Kasher, Old 97's Ken Bethea, the pAper chAse's Sean Kirkpatrick and Centro-matic's Scott Danbom.
But perhaps the most amazing thing about the album is the history that predates all this. Ohio tells the story of Silvers' unique childhood, highlighted by "Rooms 31 & 30," about the day he and his older brother set their high school on fire. Their subsequent expulsion sent the family moving to Illinois to live with his mother's new boyfriend, and the rest of the album profiles the insanity of Silvers' youth, the friends who died along the way and the return to his hometown in Ohio years later.
"For my elementary and high school years, imagine the Bronco Bowl every weekend," Silvers says. "Sneaking out of the house, lighting stuff on fire, trashing, vandalizing, stealing Mom's car, all kinds of stuff. That's what Ohio is--this youth. Those harbored feelings I wrote, I just put them to the chord progressions."
Silvers hasn't grown up much since those days, but that's a compliment. He acts like [DARYL]'s biggest teenage fan, speaking quickly and giving credit to his friends every chance he gets.
"This record, I was tired of fighting, and everybody trusted me. Once they knew I was with Stuart and had people like Danbom and Kirkpatrick coming in, they knew the shit was gonna be a lot better than anything we'd done before," he says. "We had to make it right. "