I've never listened to Defeater before so if this is all completely wrong, please forgive my ignorance.
Defeater's new album Empty Days & Sleepless Nights fuses melodic hardcore with a screamo sensibility. I think. The acoustic ep tacked on to the end of this solid album confuses things for me.
Defeater really reminds me Touché Amoré. Not in the sense that they sound in any way similar other than they both play hardcore. They also play with hardcore in a new way. Touché Amoré add in liberal doses of screamo into their hardcore, allowing other elements that pure anger to power the music.
Defeater play melodic hardcore with a screamo sensibility. While there is always lots of melody in the guitars that melody is never allowed to take over. The focus is almost always on Derek's empassioned and desperate shout screams. This is one of the few situations I like a whiskey soaked shout.
I did not realize this at first but this really is two recordings.The first is a melodic hardcore album with an emotional shouter that is intent on kicking your ass. Then White Oak Door comes along, the instrumentation drops out while Derek keeps shouting. Then the acoustic guitars and the clean singing start.
The last quarter to third depending on where you place the White Oak Door is a completely different album. It's all acoustic guitars and clean singing. If this was what they played all the time I wouldn't be interested but it's rather neat as a contrast.
All these songs are good. If you're more into the hardcore side of things you'll stick northward of White Oak Doors. Those with a little more open mind will find themselves with the same desperate emotions in an even more melodic surroundings.