Save Your Breath


Written by: PP on 29/08/2011 21:24:22

Britain's Save Your Breath released their previous EP "Nothing Worth Having Comes Easy" two years ago. It contained some catchy melodies but its fundamental problem was shoddy production which left the guitars ringing weirdly and the vocal harmonies less clear in the mix than they probably should've been. On "Vices", their debut album, all such issues have been wiped away and the band now presents an (over)polished mix of straight forward pop punk circa mid 2000s, in the vein of Hit The Lights and Fall Out Boy ("From Under The Cork Tree"-era), and herein lies their new problem: they sound hopelessly dated and unoriginal to anyone who has heard a few dozen other identical copycat bands in the time between their previous EP and this album.

It's an interesting problem when you consider the huge improvement everyone in the band has undertaken within such a short period. Everything sounds almost nefariously pitch-perfect and crystal-clear all-around, allowing their ear for instantly catchy choruses to really shine throughout the record. Almost every song has been crowded with big vocal hooks and immediately recognizable harmonies that strike gold on first listen, oftentimes following the example set by Fall Out Boy so closely that you'll have to double-check which band and record you're actually listening to. Songs like "Stay Young", "Nothing Worth Having Comes Easy", "The Lost Boys", "You're A Rebel, Alright" and many others all stick to mind from the get go, varying between high-energy tempo and bouncy choruses that'll have the entire floor of underage teenagers jumping up and down in unison. You even have d-beat punk rock and pop-hardcore songs like "Loud & Clear" that lure in punk fans like myself to an extent.

So where's the problem? The thing is, "Vices" has so many big vocal hooks, harmonies, infectious choruses, polished production and all the rage, and yet there's an undeniable sense of predictability that lingers across all tracks on the album. The songs often sound like they are directly ripped off from the bands mentioned in this review, or at the very least feel extremely derivative, and as is almost always the case with derivative music, the originals just sound so much better and fresher in comparison. "You're A Rebel, Alright" is the perfect song to pick at here, since it sounds like a track that could've been on "From Under The Cork Tree"...but that album was released six years ago. Moreover, with all these 'reactionary' and 'realist' pop punk bands around like The Wonder Years, Man Overboard and others like them, the material on Save Your Breath's debut just sounds shallow and pointless in comparison. That said, should you be coming into this album with complete ignorance of the genre classics, there's no denying that the songs are extremely catchy, even if they feel a little superficial and hollow in content.


Download: Stay Young, You're A Rebel Alright, Nothing Worth Having Comes Easy
For the fans of: Hit The Lights, Fall Out Boy (old), Fireworks
Listen: Bandcamp

Release date 05.07.2011

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