Sound — 10
At first glance one might assume this is just a regular pop-punk album from the late nineties full of simple-ish riffs and progressions with harmonies sung poorly by whiney guys with nothing to say. Unfortunately some people may judge the book by it's cover and not see that this is one of the greatest underrated albums of the 90's (keep in mind these guys were 20-23). The sound of this album is characterized by the hardcore-influenced guitar of Ted Alexander and David Soloway. They brilliantly master the fast, chugging hardcore riffs but also blend together pop harmonies that rock you away while making you tap your foot to the beat at the same time. The best way to describe the sound is emo sentimentality with punk beats and rythmns with a blistering pop rock melody which drives each song into your mind and keeps it there. The best tracks to listen to for pure musical genius: Shoulder to the Wheel and You Vandal. Also, listen to the beautiful melodies and metal influence on Third Engine.
Lyrics — 10
Chris Conley is possibly the most gifted singer in this genre. At times a bit incomprehensible, his lyrics focus on his youth in New Jersey, the need to escape the routine of boredom, and of course, girls. This may seem like tacky, bullshit but belikeve me his voice tears your soul apart. It soars through each verse effortlessly and connects guitar melodies effortlessly. He blends beautiful poetry into the music so perfectly sometimes it's hard to imagine how someone so young could do so much so well. Lyrics like, "Let me take this awkward saw/run it against your thighs/Cut some flesh away/I'll carry this piece of you with me/Because all I can say tonight/is that I hate you/But it would be all right/If we could see each other sometime" make you recall feeling the same way about a relationship, not necessarily with a girlfriend/boyfriend, but with someone who you loved and broke your heart with seemingly no remorse. Hats off to you, Chris. Best Song lyrically: My Sweet Fracture.
Overall Impression — 10
This is my favorite Saves the Day album, but it is not by any means their only album worth hearing. All of their albums are unique and highly enjoyable; not to mention their high re-listen capability. It is not necessarily my favorite album ever or anything like that, but if you happen to be feeling like thinking about high school or college, make sure to throw this in and carry you off to reminice.