Jokes Damon Albarn...
David Renshaw

11:45 8th May 2006

In 2001 New Jerseys Saves The Day had what is knows as "The Breakthrough Hit" with 'At Your Funeral'. They were on the fast track to success with album sales by the bucket load and lead singer Chris Conley hailed as a hero with his lyrics about broken hearts and relationships. Come 2003 and the band, having signed to major label DreamWorks, were readying new album ‘In Reverie’, fully set to match, if not eclipse, the success of 2001's ‘Stay What You Are‘. Much like ‘Pinkerton’ Weezers infamously ill received second album, ‘In Reverie’ bombed and the band soon found themselves ditched from their major label. Take note Fall Out Boy.

Now far be it from us to suggest that this experience has left Conley and his band bitter but ’The End’, the first single from ‘Sound The Alarm’, is laced with barbed lines like “Time to face the end, smile for the camera, suck in that gut”. Something tells us the major label experience has left Saves The Day angry. With respect what do you expect when you sign to a label funded by Steven Spielberg? However putting to one side the root of this anger the sonic results it brings are a delight to both newcomers and established fans. Opening track ‘Head For The Hills’ has stabbing guitars, big drums and an anthemic chorus. It sets the tone for the whole album with the band sounding like a mixture of Bad Brains and The Stooges whilst still sounding contemporary. In terms of instrumentation the album is nothing spectacular, sure there are riffs piled on top of riffs (‘Say You’ll Never Leave’) and a few funky basslines (‘Shattered’) but the thing that keeps you coming back to this album is the lyrics.

Now there is a very English attitude that honesty mixed with melodrama is pretentious and if you are of this mindset then perhaps this album is not for you. ‘Head For The Hills’ contains lines like  “My heart is burning black, My bones are cold and cracked, The venom flushed out my veins” Presumably these lyrics were stolen from the big book of clichés, however Conley does redeem himself with , “Got a grenade in my mouth, and my finger on the pin ready to rip it out.” Which not only creates an amazing image but pretty much sums up the visceral and dangerous edge Saves The Day are bringing to this new album.

It’s hard not to want this album to succeed, after such a tough experience the nature of the underdog is apparent on ‘Sound The Alarm’. With heart on sleeve honesty set to a riff-tastic backdrop there is no reason that this album will not bring them the success expected of them on ‘Stay What You Are’