Sound — 9
Rock 'n' roll in a myriad of tints including acoustic, folk, country, metal, pop, orchestral, and Southern powered is what Saving Abel deliver on their self-titled debut release. Produced by Skidd Mills (Saliva, Submersed, 12 Stones), the songs grumble with Southern rock bowels reminiscent of Submersed through the guitar cuts of Jason Null and Scott Bartlett. The rhythm section of bassist Eric Taylor and drummer Blake Dixon have the stamina of Finger Eleven, and the racket-pinion steering of lead vocalist Jared Weeks is impressive as he shifts to stay on course with the melodies elevations and dips. Addicted is the band's break out single from the album with modern rock bearings liken to Three Days Grace. The country-tinged acoustic springs opening She Got Over Me are shrouded in mounds of heavy rock fumes which then act as the basin for tracks like 18 Days and Drowning (Face Down). Saving Abel saddle their songs with a thick veneer of Southern rock intonations and coruscate a nu-metal blare in songs like In God's Eyes and New Tattoo. The folk-rock frequency of Sailed Away is barricaded in searing guitar burns, while the orchestral vapors and classic piano tones of Beautiful Day have a romantic lighting, which is rare on this album which is mostly marbled by gritty folk-rock slicks and nu-metal pitched eruptions.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics feel autobiographical or at least they could be, like in New Tattoo. Weeks narrates, Sometime in the summer of '96 / I was off on a road trip / A couple hundred bucks and a case of beer / Outside Panama City limits is where it all begins / 2am I saw hazard lights / Appeared to be a dame, distressed in the night / She was 5ft. 6 and damn she was built. The rest of the lyrics are spend on telling what it is like experiencing one damn good time with a complete stranger, and still smiling about it long after. Of course, not all of the experiences end up with feelings of elation. There is Drowning (Face Down) as Weeks spills out, I've wondered endlessly and waited for my time to come / I think I'm drowning can someone lend a hand.
Overall Impression — 9
It's good to see Southern rock bands making their way up to the surface, and Saving Abel, in a way, is leading the pack. It's not just an album that relates to rock fans in the South, but riles up the mix with an array of tints so classic piano and orchestral strings have a place in Southern rock music. The band makes music with a wide appeal without compromising on their metal rock binges. Saving Abel's name is a biblical reference to the story about Adam and Eve's children, Cain and Abel. The band's guitarist, Jason Null tells on the band's website, I Googled the story of Cain and Abel and found a line about 'there was no Saving Abel,' which just jumped out at me. The band's name was christened right then and there.