|Saves the Day
Razor & Tie
September 13, 2011
Five years ago, Saves the Day front man Chris Conley set out to materialize his musical vision: a three-headed monster of a trilogy, including 2006's Sound the Alarm, 2007's Under the Boards and the 2011 grand finale, Daybreak.
Since the inception of the project, Conley and his revolving door of band members have explored various types of music, from the angry and ferocious style of Sound the Alarm to the more upbeat and poppy Under the Boards.
All bets are off with Daybreak, as Conley and company (Arun Bali-guitar, Rodrigo Palma-Bass and Caudio Rivera-drums/percussion) have constructed 11 of the most unique sounding songs in the band's catalog. The album opens up with the more than ten minute-long title track, "Daybreak."
Guitar swells introduce the song before crunchy guitar strums take over. At 1 minute and 32 seconds the song transitions into an up-tempo pop-rock song with Conley's signature high-pitched vocals leading the way. At the 6 minute and 15 second mark a scintillating acoustic guitar comes in and leads into the bridge, where Conley is at his most vulnerable, revealing an honesty that he's frantically trying to espouse. Along the way, subtle synth lines are accented by "oohs" and "ahh's." This is definitely the most ambitious song that STD has written.
"1984" starts with a meaty guitar riff that informs the listener "this song is going to rock." Its straightforward and heartfelt approach makes it the catchiest song on the album.
"E" is a mellow number with a tempo that's unlike anything STD has done before. It begins with a slightly reggae-esque guitar line that's highlighted by Arun Bali's ingenious guitar work.
On "O," Conley has penned a lovely ballad as he sings plaintively over a simple acoustic guitar accented by an airy synth line before momentarily breaking into a discordant guitar solo. "I think I'm starting to see, the love I need is inside of me," Conley belts out, as if he's reached a much-needed epiphany.
The last track, "Undress Me," starts with the declaration, "All I want is you to come undress me," as if Conley demands to be revealed for who he is and what he desires.
There's vivid description within this track as Conley laments, "I remember when we met on Halloween…you in your red dress, your green eyes stared at me." At this point, spot on drums and bass carries the song along beautifully. This track concludes on a grandiose note and makes it a fitting end to the trilogy.
All in all, Daybreak should be praised for its complexity (as far as STD standards go) and musicianship due to Bali's creative knack on a six-string, a rhythm section that's solid and driving and Conley's confident approach to a musical project that ended with a very personal outpouring of love, heartbreak, confusion and acceptance that he so effortlessly knows how to conjure up.
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Reviewer Bio - Michael Rincon is a Entertainment/Music Journalist writing for various magazines since 2007. Based in Los Angeles Michael has gained experience within the music industry interacting with artists/bands and the labels they're a part of.