Mike Daly & The Planets: The Cosmic Adventures of Manboy

On the opening track of his first solo project after 20 years with Every Damn Day, Daly, a longtime Jersey rocker and former Aquarian Weekly editor, asks that musical question “how’d ya like to grab the knife that’s been jammed into my back?” “No Simple Task” is aggressively strummed acoustic Americana but Daly sounds like Elvis Costello. Then that mid-tempo strum is kick-started by an absolutely stinging electric guitar solo.

Four songs. 13 minutes. All muscle. Not a second of fat.

“Follow You” has Daly growling like Graham Parker in a syncopated effect-laden doozy complete with ample attitude (“Throw a rock at me, I don’t care!”)

The riff-happy “Broken” (“slice me dice me flush my soul down the drain”) is Jersey-centric barband ragged glory, the way it’s supposed to be done in this state.

The piano on closer “Mikey’s Lament” adds a honky-tonk, feel-good groove that belies the lyric “I’m keenly aware that time may be running out.” Sure, Daly ain’t gettin’ any younger; but like Keith Richards sticking his middle finger up at the grim reaper and continuing to rock, Daly is pondering his own mortality here but doing it joyously.

Every Damn Day will be staging a reunion concert at The Harp n’Bard in Clifton February 26.

In A Word: Rockstar