REVIEW: Saves The Day – Daybreak

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Artist: Saves The Day
Album: Daybreak
Genre: Indie Rock
Label: Razor & Tie

I love music, it’s always been a huge part of my life, that’s why I’m here writing this right now, that’s why I’ve devoted so much time to all the bands I’ve played in the past that never went anywhere, and why I put so much effort in to my record label which is still very much on the underground level. But it feels different these days, I used to get so excited for shows, and positively giddy for certain releases. That doesn’t really happen these days, I look forward to albums; I was quite excited for The Horrible Crowes album, but “giddy” isn’t really the word I would use. It’s a more reserved, more mature sort of anticipation, that just isn’t quite as fun or exciting as it used to be. Of course, there are still a few bands that can put out an album that will get me properly excited; usually bands from my younger days, the types of bands that I used to get unrealistically excited about. These new albums are met with a cautious optimism, excited for a new release from old favorites, but hoping they don’t mess it up to badly, which they usually do. One of those bands that I will always get excited about, no matter how old and salty I get, is Saves The Day. Stay What You Are was the soundtrack to my younger years, and I’ll never forget that. Of course, as much as I’ve grown since then, so have the bands I grew up on, their sounds changed, their line ups changed, and some of them just sorta lost the plot. But no matter what happens over the years, I’m always going to get more than a little excited for a new Saves The Day release. They are unlike most bands that saw some acclaim in their better days, and are trying to recreate the old flame, they have aged gracefully, a natural progression that is not only a seamless jump from their last release, but a well suited album for their old crowd who have, for the most part, also grown older and matured.

Back when I was younger though, I didn’t understand this dynamic of progression. I would gush on about how Stay What You Are was a flawless album, and really anything after that, I sort of ignored and discounted, I never even gave In Reverie a chance for years. But what I’ve come to learn is the best attribute about Saves The Day is their ability to progress, and allow their sound to mature, without getting caught up in the old sound that became a fan favorite so many years ago. Not a new band, not an attempt to redefine their sound, just honest maturation and progression. The current pinnacle of which, of course, being Daybreak, which marks their progression from the angst driven pop punk band they began as, to a solid indie band. This album has much more depth and musicianship than anyone could have imagined during their revered Stay What You Are days, I never would have imagined that they would one day write a five part opus clocking in at nearly 11 minutes, like the title track “Daybreak”. Perhaps the most remarkable thing about this album though, is that fact that with age, Saves The Day have shown no signs of losing the emotional power drawn from their lyrics in their past releases; “Undress Me” manages to be just as touching as the likes of “Three Miles Down” or “Firefly” were so many years ago.

Obviously, I’ll never be 15 years old again, listening to Stay What You Are for the first time. But after hearing Daybreak, I don’t want to be. That was a different time in my life, a time where I was much more impressionable, I could get in to damn near anything back then. But even despite the fact that my taste has become much more close-minded, I can’t get enough of Daybreak, it is an amazingly well written album, from a band which, remarkably, seems to only get better with age. I just hope they can keep it up for a few more releases after this one, but I’m not quite sure how much better they can get from this point. Although, I said the exact same thing after I heard Stay What You Are so many years ago, and here I am today, eating my words.

SCORE: 9/10
Reviewed by: Mike Hogan

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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  • dan

    excellent review. Couldn’t agree more.