Album Review
Saves the Day - Under the Boards Album Cover

Saves the Day - Under the Boards

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Saves the Day - Under the Boards
Record Label: Vagrant Records
Release Date: October 30, 2007
At this point, Saves the Day fans are about as polarized as the American electorate. Most would claim their last noteworthy release was 2001’s Stay What You Are, while a smaller group appreciated their more eclectic follow-up and major label debut, 2003’s In Reverie. An even smaller minority embraced their more punk influenced “comeback” album, 2006’s Sound the Alarm. No matter which camp you associate with, there are certain inarguable facts that surround the band. First, Chris Conley’s voice is never a constant. From his youthful, bratty, Lifetime influenced wails present in Saves the Day’s first two (and a half) releases, to the poppier, more accessible tenor found on Stay What You Are, to the airy, lighter tone of In Reverie, to finally the in-your-face, punkier delivery that we know today, it would appear that this version of Conley is here to stay. Second, the band is never the same from album to album. Because only one founding member remains (Conley), and the entire rhythm section is transplanted from the sometimes defunct Glassjaw, it’s safe to assume who’s in charge. Finally, no matter how many albums Saves the Day records, they will never be able to top whichever release fans consider their greatest work. This is the problem with being a Saves the Day fan: there’s nothing to look forward to.

That being said, Under the Boards is in every way Sound the Alarm part two. In fact, this is literally true, as Conley has stated that these two releases are parts one and two of a trilogy. Take “Getaway,” for example: a pounding bass drum, a monotonous melody, lyrical lines that end in “away,” “same,” “day,” “way,” and “away,” and obligatory references to gore with “got the taste of blood in my throat.” Look up the lyrics to “Dying Day” off of Sound the Alarm, and there lies my exact description of “Getaway” in front of your eyes.

I don’t want to call the lyrics lazy, but how else would someone describe “Every time I think about you, I get fucked up,” from the aptly titled “Get Fucked Up”? The idea behind Under the Boards was to represent “reflection and remorse,” as Conley puts it, but just because a song’s lyrics make it “the heaviest song [they’ve] ever written” doesn’t make it interesting. This is my main gripe with Under the Boards. That, and Conley’s nearly unlistenable vocal stylings. By the end of my fifth listen, I was waiting to hone in on exactly what it was that I was supposed to like about it, but was unpleasantly surprised to find that I only remembered one song, and that was because it reminded me of In Reverie. The song in question is “Stay.”

These songs are dark, lonely, and boring. The title track is as spooky as “Hell is Here” from Sound the Alarm, but who even remembers that song? “Bye Bye Baby” is about as deep as its title, “Radio” is fun, but repetitive, and “Woe” contains melodies and lyrics that are blatantly recycled from previous Saves the Day works. The album’s savior is “Stay.” Finally, some unique lyrics without blood and guts, plus a chance for Conley to show off the lighter side of his voice (which hasn’t happened since In Reverie). The listener is able to feel his pain for the first time on the album, despite his overstated loneliness from every other song. I suppose I prefer my emo(tions) understated. But hey, that’s me.
This review is a user submitted review from hollywoodchase. You can see all of hollywoodchase's submitted reviews here.
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 27
08:43 PM on 11/26/07
Ya slam-dunkin what I'm alleyoopin?
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Neilhouse's Avatar
Not a bad review. I don't care much for In Reverie myself, but I pretty much agree with you on the repetitiveness of this album. I was stoked when STD came out with Sound the Alarm and I liked it a lot. It seemed like a bit of a throwback album and I dig that. Unfortunately, Under the Boards is merely a STA part 2 which I do not dig. Hopefully they'll come back strong (and original) for the third installment.
02:20 PM on 11/27/07
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tbsrock08's Avatar
This album is pretty much just like In Reverie...Not a big fan...Get back to the Sound The Alarm sound...Like Old School STD's was the shit this album i listened to it once and just went WHAT THE HELL IS THIS SHIT!!! Listened to it pretty much once and maybe if i'm really really bored and have nothing else to listen to maybe. Very soft album...just not into it...
02:25 PM on 11/27/07
Registered User
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So i have been a big fan of Saves the day.. and sexually transmitted diseases, for a while now.. so when i heard that they were coming out with a new album.. i was nothing more then ecstatic.. So much to my suprise i couldnt make it thru the first song.. so i tried again... and it was that way thru out the whole album.. this crap was worse then panic at the disco.. i would rather listen to a dying baby then willingly listen to this cd.. There is certian things in life you should avoid and this cd is one of them..
08:16 PM on 11/28/07
slap bet commissioner
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a.t.123's Avatar
i can't see how you think this about this album...
03:05 PM on 11/30/07
RLeary Yall
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opening track might as well be conley in front of a lacey-less brand new

i think all i can do is wait for part 3 on this one
every time i listened to sound the alarm i waiting from track to track for a single song
i dont even get that with this album
but hopefully the end of the trilogy will do something miraculous to bring it all together
05:55 PM on 12/01/07
Serial Kisser
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cubz84's Avatar
One of the things I like MOST about Saves The Day is that they're different from album to album. If every album they released since 2001 was just another "stay what you are", i'd get bored. This is a great record.
06:04 PM on 12/01/07
Saves The Night
AP's Resident STD Fan
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Saves The Night's Avatar
I disagree with the review.
09:16 PM on 12/01/07
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TheBaroness's Avatar
I have to disagree with pretty much every point made in this review
09:21 PM on 12/01/07
Karl Hansen
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Karl Hansen's Avatar
Stay What You Are truly will be on my top ten list of albums ever. Simply brilliant. In Reverie was good. Sound The Alarm was alright. But Under The Boards is really great. Their best release since Stay... without a doubt for me. Seems to me that STD are back on track with their latest rythm section (I was never a fan of the kind of dull drumming of Parada).

Giving this album shit is like taking a dump in your own mouth... plain stupid ;-D

Not really, but I really disagree with this review.
09:45 PM on 12/01/07
coheeds monstar
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coheeds monstar's Avatar
I don't think this album is the best one they have release. That being said, it's not bad. I like that they put out different albums and that they aren't all the same. I don't agree with this review. This cd definitely deserves a higher rating than what it received.
10:31 PM on 12/01/07
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whyte39's Avatar
I have to disagree with pretty much every point made in this review

ditto...instrumentally this is one of their best. I really enjoy it
02:32 AM on 12/02/07
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jerseysbest's Avatar
One of my favourite albums of the year and I'm not a massive STD fan. I think the review is way off.
08:25 AM on 12/02/07
Anarchist Cat Owner
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AP_Punk's Avatar
Agree to disagree.

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