For the first time in Saves The Day's career, Chris Conley seems happy. While the band earned their reputation and fervent fanbase through anthemic pop-punk hooks, lyrically speaking STD have been perennially dark. It's fitting that their new album (and eighth overall) is self-titled; Conley, now in his early 30s, has found love and started a family, and his lyrical outlook on this album – not to mention that cover art – strongly represents his sunnier disposition.
Fresh-faced and rejuvenated after completing their interconnected trilogy of albums, 2006's Sound the Alarm, 2007's Under the Boards, and 2011's Daybreak, Saves the Day return with a refreshingly light and upbeat self-titled effort. Free from the constraints of the three-album cycle, it feels as though Saves the Day are reveling in their first taste of freedom away from their ambitious experiment. Now, in what feels like a reintroduction of sorts, the band gets back to doing what it does best with an album of infectious and unabashedly upbeat emo-pop that revels in its sunshiny warmth.
There’s a close-up of a grapefruit on the cover of Saves the Day’s new self-titled release, which turns out to be a fitting image for the music therein. The veteran pop punk band’s eighth studio album mixes tart vocal tension with sugary hooks for their most energetic effort since 2001’s Stay What You Are. For fans, this return to a more accessible formula is a welcome shift from the band’s recent, moodier offerings.
Having finally completed Saves The Day’s dark, deeply ambitious and equally voluminous autobiographical concept-album trilogy with 2011’s Daybreak, frontman Chris Conley was suddenly free to write anything, for the first time in roughly six years. And he’s made the most of it: On Saves The Day, you can feel how that emotional and thematic weight has been lifted, and Conley & Co. approach this new batch of songs with a palpable joy and rhythmic bounce that make the record glide by like a summer’s day.