Daybreak has been a long time coming for Saves the Day. The final leg of a trilogy started in 2006, Daybreak clocks in four years after part two, 2007’s Under the Boards. Along the way, there have been several lineup changes, rendering lead singer/guitarist Chris Conley not only the last remaining original band member, but indeed the only one who has recorded on a previous Saves the Day album. After nearly 15 years in the business, where is Saves the Day presently?
It turns out that they’re in a pretty similar place. Daybreak really proves that Saves the Day is and has always been Chris Conley’s brainchild first and foremost. There’s very little sonic or lyrical difference between this and any other of STD’s recent recordings. The 11-track release, the band’s seventh, still trades in guitar-driven, emo-flavored rock that centers on Conley’s unique vocals.
In terms of standouts, there are a few. The titular opening track runs an amazingly ambitious 10:46, through several themes, complete with some intriguing guitar work. “Let It All Go” will end up stuck in your head. “1984”, previously released on the EP of the same name, is solid single material, Conley’s desperate vocals on the “yeah yeah yeah” chorus jamming forward with a vitality that’s been missing lately.
The rest of the album vacillates between mediocre (“E” and “Deranged and Desperate”) and slightly annoying (“Living Without Love” and “Undress Me”). Conley deserves deep respect for having the musical fortitude to continue to compose regardless of what anyone thinks. However, most Saves the Day fans (this one included) really just want to hear him play the old stuff. Maybe we can strike a compromise: Greatest hits album, anyone?
Essential Tracks: “Daybreak”, “Let It All Go”, and “1984”