Saves The Day

Under The Boards

Written by: PP on 03/02/2008 05:15:37

Saves The Day\'s \"Sound The Alarm\" was one my the biggest disappointments of 2006. No matter how I turned and twisted the record, there was something about the sound that just pissed me off, something that I just couldn\'t get over after listening to \"In Reverie\", which still stands as the band\'s masterpiece in my opinion. Two years later, I\'m still listening to the latter, and I haven\'t spinned \"Sound The Alarm\" a single time since reviewing it, but nonetheless I still vividly remember exactly what I disliked about it: it was too loud (though originally the band\'s roots are in melodic hardcore a la Lifetime, but those days are long gone now), too in-your-face (relatively), and too try-hard experimentalist for my liking. Today, I\'m sitting here with at least as many power listens of \"Under The Boards\" as of the latter, and I\'m feeling better. Much better in fact.

The volume has been reduced significantly, and the tortured, bitter songwriting has returned in a form that always makes me think of Say Anything, even if that\'s the only similarity the bands have together aside from sharing the indie rock genre. But most importantly, the band remembered to write memorable songs this time around. \"Radio\" almost treaches into indie flavored pop punk but it does it well. \"Can\'t Stay The Same\" is poppy but it\'s \"hey, heey everything\'s okay\" chorus works really well here.

The quirky songwriting returns on the bouncy \"Get Fucked Up\", which sees vocalist Conley experiment in various ranges with his voice, almost precisely in the way he did on \"In Reverie\". This is a welcomed return as it adds dimension to the band\'s sound, which might otherwise come across as too flat, although the guitar arrangements have become more complicated since the chord-days of \"In Reverie\" and previous albums.

For me, Saves The Day\'s best songs have always been the silent ballads, as they allow the most space for Conley\'s voice to shine and the band\'s songwriting capabilities to show. \"Lonely Nights\" does just that with additional classic piano providing some background texture to the song. At the same time, the band isn\'t afraid of writing power pop songs either. \"Bye Bye Baby\" is faster and consists solely of power chords, but I don\'t feel this approach works for the band all too well. The song doesn\'t stand a chance against an acoustic track like \"Stay\" if you ask me.

The only pitfall about the album is its inconsistency and lack of a superstar. The quality swings from sublime to mediocre too many times, and the record isn\'t helped by the absence of one song that\'d leave the others in its shadow. In other words, the album is missing a distinct single, although the title track does come pretty close. Keeping this in mind, it\'s not possible to rate the album as high as some of their earlier work. However one thing is certain: Saves The Day is on the right track again and it\'ll be exciting to hear the new album \"Daybreak\" when it\'s released later this year.

Download: Under The Boards, Radio, Stay, Lonely Nights
For the fans of: Say Anything, Mae, The Get Up Kids
Listen: Myspace
Buy: iTunes

Release date 30.10.2007
Vagrant

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