Saves the Day Sound the Alarm

Imagine the awkwardly mature-sounding version of Saves the Day found on the mediocre In Reverie trying really badly to capture the energetic passion of their landmark Through Being Cool. Sound weird? So does this record — a bizarre mix of the band’s aggressive pop punk roots and their newfound penchant for simple, sweet pop music. Chris Conley’s voice has gotten even higher somehow, making for the occasional grimace as he reaches Geddy Lee-like registers of non-manliness. High-pitched male vocals don’t have to be annoying, but Conley’s too often are, pushing the listener to accept his unique delivery when offering little compelling or unique in return. Still, this record is not without its merits, with a few tracks that demonstrate the attitude and songwriting that made the band worthwhile in the first place. "Eulogy” is the best song penned by the band in two records, while "Bones” features one of the most impossibly danceable guitar riffs the band have ever recorded. Overall, however, this record fails in its attempt to return to the band’s roots, coming across like the desperate midlife crisis that had your dad rocking out with his old Fender Strat in the living room. (Vagrant)