Save Your Breath - Vices
Release Date: July 5, 2011
Record Label: Self-Released
This review has been written before. Spoiler alert: it’s about a promising young pop-punk band that just released its debut full-length. The review follows a familiar plot; I’ll point out the highlights of the record and praise the young band for writing a worthwhile album on their first try. Towards the end I’ll point out some flaws and talk about how this record is far from perfect, but I’ll end by saying this band has given itself a sturdy foundation to build up on.
But the reason I’m writing this review again is because (here we go) Save Your Breath has something in them that makes me feel the need to. They have the same soaring hooks, double-kick drums and pogo-stick-worthy guitar riffs as the other young pop-punk bands, but I don’t know, I guess I think Save Your Breath could actually make it. Whatever that means.
The first song on the group’s debut full-length, Vices, is called “Nothing Worth Having Comes Easy,” and it comes from the band’s first release, an EP by the same name. When you listen to it for the first time, it will either prove me very right or prove me very wrong in your eyes. You’ll either be like, “Man, these guys are ripping off New Found Glory but being kinda poppier! Fuck yeah!”… Or, you’ll be like, “Man, these guys are like a poppier New Found Glory. Fuck this.”
Either way, you might have heard this record before. Maybe it’ll make you think of Hit The Lights’ This Is A Stickup…Don’t Make It A Murder, or maybe you’ll see shades of The Years Gone By. Just because you’ve heard this music before doesn’t mean you can’t like it again. I’ve turned myself off of writing reviews for every single up-and-coming pop-punk band, but Save Your Breath, with this insanely catchy 11-song effort, has put me back on that path.
“Don’t Let Me Down” shows you all you need to know, really. It’s a guitar-based track on a guitar-based album, buoyed by lightweight vocals from Kristian Richards like most of the other songs are. The Newport, Wales, natives seem to have no shortage of riffs that manage to stay stuck in your head for extended periods of time, evidenced by the aggressive “Stay Young” and the radio-ready “The Lost Boys.” Another plus with Vices is that Save Your Breath ditched the silly long-winded song titles, and instead put some of that creative effort into choruses like the layered one in “You’re A Rebel, Alright.”
As if the pro-pop-punk contingency of this website needed any more reason to pick up a copy of Vices, Save Your Breath feature one of the most popular groups in the genre today on second track “Loud And Clear.” Daniel “Souphead” Campbell of The Wonder Years leaves his mark on the track in the second verse, and while it’s a solid verse, the highlight of the track comes in the chorus, which, when doubled with the opening track, is enough to reel you in for the long haul. “Loud And Clear” is the most aggressive, most “traditional” song in line with the early-decade pop-punk style, and those are good things, so for those reasons it’s the album’s standout.
So yeah, like I said earlier, this band has some kinks to work out. Maybe they want to tone down the production a bit on future releases, let some of those hardcore-influenced parts shine in a little more raw fashion, so fans of Mutiny! start seeing double. Maybe they want to amp the production up and write super poppy pop-punk and be like All Time Low. Whatever. Regardless of where they end up going, this band’s future is one to pay attention to. And this record, Vices, is one to listen to, especially while the weather is blistering.
Good review, although the RIYL surprises me - I've never listened to them, but I've heard them compared more to ADTR, going so far as to having been called a knockoff in the past and that's what turned me off from ever checking them out. Your repeated mentions of NFG and a Soupy guest spot intrigue me though, will have to listen to this in the morning.
I think you nailed exactly what makes this album so great: It's just well executed pop punk. I know this site is big on originality, but there's something to be said for playing your genre well. As bold as this may be with all of the other releases in the first half, this may be my favorite pop punk record so far this year.
Side note: "Nothing Worth Having Comes Easy" wasn't on the EP Nothing Worth Having Comes Easy. Just a weird coincidence that they each share the same title.
Awesome record. They are such a better band with Kristian on vocals. I thought the vocals were the biggest disappointment on the EP so was pleased they changed singer. Genuinely lovely guys also. Had the good fortune of being at one of their shows recently and hanging out with them before the show.
They are supporting New Found Glory on their upcoming UK tour, go check them out.
They are very good. I saw them supporting Funeral for a Friend with the old singer in 09, with The Wonder Years in February and will be seeing them next month with New Found Glory...still not sick of them for sure, and they are definitely going places.
I've listened to this album a few times and though it's not horrible pop punk, these guys are very unoriginal. I don't understand why they need to blatantly refer to as many other pop punk bands as they can, but I just don't like that. Especially "Loud And Clear". That's one of Title Fight's most popular songs and they even took the same lyrics. Their chorus "Can you hear me? Loud and clearly" is the ending line in TF's song.
Others included Fake It Like You Mean It (Starting Line's album name Say It Like You Mean It)
State Champs has Stay Young on their merch and I believe even in their lyrics.
and a track called Transit?
I could be wrong, but I don't understand how their could be that many coincidences. If it wasn't, then this band has a creativity block.