Saves the Day Ė Daybreak
Release Date: September 13th, 2011
Record Label: Razor & Tie
As a rather new pop-punk fan, Saves the Day is a band I shouldíve gotten into a long time ago, right? Well, surprisingly, I didnít. And itís strange, because I absolutely adore bands like Saves the Day Ė bands who mix pop-punk and indie-rock. Bands like Transit, and The Early November are very popular for this, and I really like it. This new style of pop-punk is hitting the genre by storm, at least, sort of. Itís a bit more melodic, but I love it. With that being said, Saves the Day is a band I shouldíve gotten into way much sooner, but for whatever reason, I never bothered to check them out. I know they released a new record in 2011, but it escaped my radar, for whatever reason. I kept seeing it at my local FYE, so I decided to pick it up, and I was quite surprised for what I embarked on. Their last record, 2011ís Daybreak, is definitely a very indie-rock influenced pop-punk affair. The thing that caught me most off guard was vocalist Chris Conleyís vocals; his vocals are very unique for pop-punk, which is a great thing. In a genre where vocals and lyrics are valued over everything else, and for good reason, Conley definitely delivers in both respects. His voice is one that may take some getting used to, but after a few listens, this record definitely has grown on me. In fact, the best part about this is that the version of the record I got came with an acoustic version of the entire record, so Iíll also be briefly talking about that as well, because itís definitely something not many bands have done, and the only other band I can think of thatís released an acoustic version of an entire record is Yellowcard. As for the regular version, this is a pretty awesome record, to say the least. Thatís putting it lightly, too. While I wonít say this is the most amazing record, itís a very interesting one with plenty to take from it, musically and lyrically. While itís not daybreak, letís take a look at this record, shall we?
It starts off with the title track, and whatís interesting about this is that itís a mashup, essentially; itís an 11-minute song that combines five songs. This is interesting, because the last band I remember doing this was Green Day on 2004ís American Idiot. Whether Green Day has done that since, I donít know, because Iím very new to that band, but this song is really cool, nonetheless. It only takes about 30 seconds for Conleyís vocals to kick in, and theyíre a bit high-pitched, but what I like is they fit with indie pop-punk sound that they have going on. This song is the longest, but itís also the most interesting, too; thereís a lot going on with this song, because it is about 11 minutes. Although, itís just because thereís a few songs in one, but the way they transition into one another. About four minutes in, the first song ends, and the second one kicks in, and itís much slower with a really cool drum beat that sounds like a programmed drum beat, but still awesome, nonetheless. Guitarist Arun Bali comes in a few times and the guitar riff is very quiet, but still compliments the song itself, and Conleyís voice. The third song starts at around the six-and-a-half-minute mark, and Baliís electric riff changes into an acoustic one for a little while. Conleyís vocals and lyrics are whatís carrying the song, honestly. He doesnít stop to take a breath, which is really impressive. Finally, at the 8-and-a-half-minute mark, the last song begins, and itís a nice finale, essentially. Not too special, but ends the 11-minute song with a bang, too. The most interesting thing, though, is the placement of this song. I donít understand why itís the first one. If they made it the last one, that would be kinda cool, because it would end the record with a bang as well, because it would be a 11-minute long song that really closes out the album nicely, because itís very memorable, and really, this is the most memorable song on the record, merely because itís so long.
Thankfully, next song ďLet It All GoĒ is only about 3 minutes, as are most of the other ten songs on the record, except for a few. This song does continue the indie meets pop-punk sound that the title track established, and this song is really nothing special, in all honesty. Lyrically, though, this is one of my favorites, so thatís what makes it stand out to me. Conleyís vocals also make the lyrics much more sincere and heartfelt as well. When I first heard Conleyís first notes on the record, I was trying to think about why his vocals were so familiar, and to be honest, he kind of reminds me of a higher pitched Chris Carrabba (Dashboard Confessional / Further Seems Forever). Not completely, of course, but he has a bit of that sound in his voice, and I like it a lot. Moving on, though, third track ď1984Ē is one of my favorite tracks on the record, surely, because this has more of the pop-punk sound. Coincidentally, next track merely titled ďEĒ is very much the opposite; itís a lot more stripped down and has that indie sound, and this leads me to a problem I have with the record, but a strength that it possesses as well. The problem I have with this record is that every song sounds quite similar to one another, but the strength it possesses is that their sound is quite unique. Some songs have an indie tinge, and others have a pop-punk tinge. Thereís not much variety in that, but it does work, surprisingly. There are really awesome guitar riffs thrown in here and there, and while they do add to the songs they appear on, itís not really enough to keep the album afloat. The lyrics are the best part of this record, though; Conley has a knack for writing very engaging lyrics. Specifically, the songs ď1984,Ē ďZ,Ē and ďLiving Without LoveĒ are songs that have great lyrics on them. As the record moves on, however, there are too many songs that really stick out. Their sound is great, and the songs are very entertaining, but as a whole, the record seems to run together. This is a problem that I see a lot with records, and while itís not necessarily a terrible thing, it doesnít make a record a bit less memorable. One track thatís quite memorable is seventh track, because the acoustic guitar riff in the beginning is just absolutely wonderful. The song itself moves along with it, and it just really works. Last track, ďUndress Me,Ē is another memorable track, but not for its title, which is rather interesting, but the fact itís five minutes long, which is surprising, considering most songs on this record are not even 3 minutes. Itís an acoustic track that has very personal lyrics that tell a story, essentially, and this track is very interesting for that very reason.
As I mentioned, the version I got also comes with an acoustic version of the entire record, and my thoughts on that are simple Ė it pretty much sounds like the regular version but with acoustic guitars. So itís great if youíre a huge fan of this band, but it does sound quite similar to the regular version. Acoustic versions are interesting, and itís very enjoyable, but the regular version does its job just fine. Overall, though, this record is very enjoyable and interesting. While it does suffer from the ďevery song sounds the sameĒ syndrome, their sound is unique, so ultimately, thatís forgivable. Iím surprised I didnít listen to this record when it came out, but then again, I wasnít really into bands like this a couple years ago. Now that Iíve expanded my musical palette, bands like these are definitely ones I enjoy. This definitely has gotten a lot of listens from me, and will certainly get a lot more.