Saves The Day

Saves The Day

Written by: TL on 29/09/2013 10:56:57

While Saves The Day's loyal fanbase has already given the band's eighth LP the nickname "Grapefruit", the record is actually the band's first self-titled effort ever, and while singer/guitarist Chris Conley is the only constant member since 1998's "Can't Slow Down", naming the record "Saves The Day" is supposedly still a result of him and his current colleagues feeling that the new album offers varied representations of the band's essential sound, summing them up in a way that made the choice of album name easy and obvious.

Now, I don't know how willing the most die hard fans of the band's two first albums - the noticeably more pop-punk "Can't Slow Down" and "Through Being Cool - are to buy just that, but otherwise, "Saves The Day" does indeed strike me as an extension of what the band has done since 2001's "Stay What You Are", namely deliver a light, catchy blend of alt-rock and emo-pop, which manages to feel both sunny and moody at the same time, and which has become unmistakable courtesy of Conley's characteristically soft and sweet singing voice. The unusual thing about it, and a likely reason for Saves The Day's continued legend, is that Conley and his friends persistantly prove that just because you want to be catchy, it doesn't mean you have to dumb things down. An attentive ear can thus notice plenty of curious riffs, unusual transitions and odd mood changes along the way through the record, while the casual listener will get just as much gratification from the extremely easy choruses and hooks Conley has expertly littered across the eleven tracks offered.

New highlights added to the band's catalogue could be pointed out then, starting with "In The In Between", which grabs the listeners' attention right from the first muted notes, while the following "Beyond All Of Time" offers a Jimmy Eat World-ish, wide-eyed love declaration verging on sugar overdose. Songs like "Ain't No Kind Of Love", "The Tide Of Our Time" and "Verona" show that the band can get both crunchy and retro without sacrificing any of their catchiness, as does "Xenophobic Blind Left Hook", which delivers one of the most strikingly peculiar choruses of the whole record. Meanwhile "Supernova" provides an unashamedly poppy little ballad as another pace-breaker later on the record, while we get some up-beat, stubborn positivity in "Lucky Number" and "Ring Pop", which offer doses of refreshingly hopeful romanticism from a songwriter one could otherwise fear would be maturing away from such sentiments.

The essential quality to "Saves The Day" though, is that none of the songs on it sound like they want to be big at all, they just calmly and confidently go about painting their individual nuances, successfully proving that Saves The Day are one of those rare bands that manage to be supremely catchy without ever sounding like they have to try very hard. The only real downside to the record then, is that following the coherently painful experience that the previous album "Daybreak" grew on the listener, this clearly feels more like a disconnected and relatively casually sequenced batch of lighter alternative pop-rock songs, with less of a sense of urgency to them. But then it wouldn't be fair to ask any band to deliver one break-up epic after the other, nor would it likely be very interesting down the stretch, so instead, rest assured that if you're in the market for well-written, catchy songs, from a band that doesn't sound like very many others, Saves The Day remain a dependant supplier of exactly that.

8

Download: In The In Between, Lucky Number, Xenophobic Blind Left Hook
For The Fans Of: Motion City Soundtrack, Jimmy Eat World, Death Cab For Cutie
Listen: facebook.com/savesthedayband

Release Date 17.09.2013
Equal Vision / Rory

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