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Saves the Day - Under the Boards (Cover Artwork)

Saves the Day

Saves the Day: Under the BoardsUnder the Boards (2007)
Vagrant Records

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: InaGreendaseBrian
(others by this writer | submit your own)

In several interviews, Saves the Day frontman Chris Conley has already admitted that a healthy portion of Under the Boards was actually written shortly after the release of 2003's abysmal In Reverie. That means some of the material here is not only close to four-years-old already, but that Conley de.
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In several interviews, Saves the Day frontman Chris Conley has already admitted that a healthy portion of Under the Boards was actually written shortly after the release of 2003's abysmal In Reverie. That means some of the material here is not only close to four-years-old already, but that Conley deliberately left it off their 2006 comeback, Sound the Alarm. From there, Conley realized he had a storyline going that he could continue with Under the Boards and mark it as the second part of an ongoing trilogy, Boards acting as "reflection and remorse" after Alarm's "expression of discontent."

Consequently, Under the Boards sometimes comes off just like what it is -- Sound the Alarm's rejects. Luckily, that album was strong enough to produce a theoretically solid collection of B-sides...not that Under the Boards is such. The foremost example is "Radio," where Conley serves up a totally generic and predictable yet somehow enjoyable chorus, proving that while the band sometimes slips into a terribly formulaic groove, it's one they've largely established themselves over the years.

However, Under the Boards has a few ticks about it that keeps it a fairly strong album in and of itself, carrying the angst of Sound the Alarm and the quirky pop of In Reverie while avoiding the latter's pitfalls. The opening / title track is a throbbing, bass-y number that's easily one of the disc's best, where Conley carries ambles along a dark mutter that sets the theme for the rest of the album: suicide as a means to an end. While he's not always explicit about it, Conley sings as earnestly as he can about wanting to kill himself, like the album's lyrical low point, "Woe," and "Getaway," where he bluntly blurts "I'm gonna end it all in the light at the break of dawn." He's very convincing, too; Conley's voice hasn't sounded this sincere and honest since 2001's Stay What You Are. That earnestness culminates in "Stay," a slow-moving and layered acoustic break where you'll only feel pity towards Conley when he wails at the top of his lungs, "I thought you'd save me from myself with love."

Still, Conley balances his famous contrast between dark lyrics and upbeat pop in plenty of enjoyable numbers like the bouncy "Bye Bye Baby," the aggressively shifty "Because You Are No Other," the aforementioned "Radio," the stupidly catchy "Can't Stay the Same" and "Getaway" with its bizarre "uga cha" sample towards the end.

Under the Boards may be rather depressing and far from the band's best efforts, but Saves the Day still manage to turn in a strangely solid arrangement of weird, mostly unique and moody songs.

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Under the Boards

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
lou (December 2, 2007)

Some thoughts:

1. Does anyone on this site remember when Stay What You Are came out and confused the shit out of kids. It got great reviews here, but a lot of people trashed it because it wasn't Can't Slow Down or Through Being Cool? Now it's pretty legendary. Time is funny like that.

2. The Lifetime "era" argument is kind of weak. Lifetime (obviously) influenced Saves The Day early on, but both STD and the later bands of the members of Lifetime moved in very different directions. 7 years is not an era, but the legendary status of Lifetime kind of skews people's perspective today. I like the idea of the covers split. Someone tell Pete Wentz. ...That was a cheap shot, I'm sorry.

3. I've never met a STD album I didn't like, (or, for the most part, love) but will someone explain why people's opinions of In Reverie are so vastly different?

4. I haven't been here in awhile. Only came to check out this review. This board has changed drastically since mandatory registration. More boring, but it was getting pretty ridiculous there for awhile. You couldn't find comments worth reading amongst all the shit.

5. Did anyone else ever think of naming a Punknews.org-esque band Teh Pwned? It would be so appropriate. I'm calling dibs on the copyright.

lou

chickswithdicks (November 8, 2007)

it's pretty good.. needs a few listens i think.

did anyone else think 'bones' from sound the alarm was the best old style std song? i don't hear that tune mentioned much..

Sleepwalker (November 8, 2007)

Under The Boards is simply great. For me, this was the easiest/fastest STD album to fall in love with. "Get Fucked Up" is one of the best songs this year.

johnnygoneargyle (November 7, 2007)

this album is just okay, but sound the alarm and even fucking in reverie are both much better. for me though, it doesn't get better than stay what you are with these guys. i will always have love for that record.

elephantdwarf (November 6, 2007)

i really do get so fucking sick of the "saves the day just ripped off lifetime" thing. every fucking band rips off some other band in one way or another. obviously the dudes in the original saves the day lineup really enjoyed the sound that lifetime was using. being from new jersey themselves, i'm sure they saw them a whole lot. you can't say that certain areas of the country don't have a ton of bands that sound very similar comparitively to other parts of the country. also, i honestly don't think Can't Slow Down sounds nearly as much like lifetime as everyone always claims that it does. that being said, everything after Can't Slow Down is definitely ALL Saves The Day style. Stop using that fucking cop-out of a comparison already.

fallingupwards84 (November 5, 2007)

they are definitely from different eras... you cannot compare the two bands. by the time STD started getting big, Lifetime had already broken up. the fact that STD ripped off Lifetime points to that too.
point is Lifetime is legendary, while STD just has a few really good songs with a bunch of very very average/mediocre ones... so it'd be ridiculous for Lifetime to cover them

salsashark (November 5, 2007)

lol at that eras comment. Does the seven years between the start of Lifetime and the start of STD really qualify as an era? I think you are throwing that term around too loosely.

dazed (November 5, 2007)

i listened to the stream and this album is pretty consistently "meh"

fallingupwards84 (November 4, 2007)

why would Lifetime cover Saves The Day songs? they're from different eras and Lifetime is legendary... they're in a completely different league than STD

F_Ward (November 4, 2007)

"They should do a split with Lifetime, where they cover each others songs."

Score is for that idea.

DickAround (November 3, 2007)

That's awesome. You're just a idiot with feelings.

This CD is good. They should do a split with Lifetime, where they cover each others songs.

Dudley_Shale (November 3, 2007)

I tend to agree that their a piss=poor band to see. I saw them on this acoustic tour that they were doing, and some body said they'd come all the way from New York to see them play (show was in Arizona.) Chris asked from where, and they named off a county, to which he replied, "Thats not New York, thats basically Jersey."

They started talking shit about Jersey, and so he refused to play songs because "I'm just not in the mood now."

slymer (November 2, 2007)

Pretty boring album. Their last three albums have been mediocre at best. I'd still go see them live though.

WarIsPeace (November 2, 2007)

imjackandihateyou:

1. I like Can't Slow Down, but in a way it's their worst album because they were basically just ripping off Lifetime, and hadn't yet found their own distinctive style/sound.

2. How are they the WORST band to see live? I know they're not great, but everytime I've seen them they're tight and play a good sampling of all their material. There are certainly many other bands much worse than them to see live.

F_Ward (November 2, 2007)

Fucking "Tomorrow Too Late" is too good. That chorus kills me every time. Damn.

SloaneDaley (November 1, 2007)

I disagree with the comment bellow. Although Can't Slow Down is my favourite Through Being Cool and Stay What You Are are great pop albums, even Sound The Alarm has some quality tunes. I haven't heard this yet.

imjackandihateyou (November 1, 2007)

two things I need to get off my chest:

1. can't slow down is the only saves the day record worth listening to.
2. saves the day is the WORST band to see live.

elephantdwarf (November 1, 2007)

"the last three songs should have been cut outright. they suck, and bring the album down a few pegs."

i completely disagree with this statement. the last 3 songs on this record are some of the best work they've done yet, in my opinion, especially within the context of the album in its entirety.

Paulrulzdood (November 1, 2007)

I'm not saying In Reverie is complete shit, but c'mon, a lot of those songs are boring/filler. connely's vocals were flat on the whole album and the weird double tracking made him sound even worse. There was no agression to it at all, I'm not saying STD are hardcore or anything, but there's a certain passion in the majority of their records that is not present on In Reverie.

It was a step in a new direction and a big risk commercially and creatively it was interesting, but the songs just lacked the bite, hooks, passion and strong vocals of any other STD album.

That said, "tomorrow too late" is one of their 10 best songs, the rest of that album is kinda crappy, other than "driving in the dark", "rise and "she". "in reverie" is cool too, but too short. so that's 5/12 songs being good, not a total shite album, but still only half of it being memorable.

but "anywhere with you", "what went wrong", "wednesday the third", "morning in the moonlight" and some others are just flat and dull with average abstract lyrics and in the case of "what went wrong", just goofy lyrics. "anywhere with you" is a terrible single and sounds like maladroit era weezer, which is shitty. and "monkey"? bland as fuck, probably their boringest song to date.

This on the other hand is pretty solid, I don't like it as much as "sound the alarm", its just not as agressive and I think it's less cohesive despite what someone else just said, to me its a little all over the place...half the songs are slow/heavy the other half poppy/dancey/catchy, with one or two punk driven ones towards the middle. its a bit random, sound the alarm flowed from start to finish IMO.

still an awesome band and connely is a genious, i'd kill to write 1/4 the amount of solid songs he's written over the last 9 years and he's still in his 20's!

Paul

fallingupwards84 (November 1, 2007)

this guy's voice has gotten more NFG-ish and nasally, dont know how some of you can stand it

Dudley_Shale (November 1, 2007)

According to David, from STD, the next album is going to be "a party record."

Tentative title: Out of the Closet.

danperrone (November 1, 2007)

the last three songs should have been cut outright. they suck, and bring the album down a few pegs.

thedude (October 31, 2007)

while this album does not seem to have the stellar individual tracks that saves the day have been known for, i think this is their most cohesive album to date. i've only heard it a few times and it seems to get better with each listen.

while sound the alarm sounded good immediately, i think it lacked staying power. under the boards is the complete opposite. come back in a month and i guarantee you'll think this is better than sound the alarm.

either way, through being cool will always and forever be their greatest album.

benz (October 31, 2007)

scott, there is no way that sound the alarm is their best album.

thatsyouth (October 31, 2007)

F_ward knows whats up. but he left out rock tonic juice magic, blindfolded, and sell all my clothes, im off to heavan.

score is for the amazing songs they made back in the day.

F_Ward (October 31, 2007)

Favorite songs: Drag in D Flat, Freakish, You Vandal, Deciding, Tomorrow Too Late, This is Not an Exit, the list goes on......

andrethegiant (October 31, 2007)

it's staggering how many jokers there are that don't realize what a gem in reverie is.

what the hell happened to this band?

dontwantaname (October 31, 2007)

fact: thats the same tree from the no doubt album.

aaronsuspect (October 31, 2007)

I just don't think Saves the Day can do wrong. I honestly love all of their albums. I'm not seeing how people who loved Sound the Alarm aren't liking Under the Boards. It's the same (great) dark tone but further evolved musically. Listen to the drums for instance. Durijah (I think) is the man. I was skeptical of him after Pete Parada's great drumming on Sound the Alarm, but Durijah holds his own for sure. Manny does NOT dissapoint after STA. I was worried he was going to hold back on this album but that's not true at all. He shredsss the bass. As far as guitars go, I think they hit middle ground between In Reverie's ridiculously jazzy complicated chords and structures with Sound the Alarm's more power-chorded songs. It's great.

As mentioned before, the flow of this album is incredible. The poppy songs nail Saves the Day's hooks of olden days while the darker ones make you want to kill yourself. I could never decide if I like Lonely Night's straight up poppiness or Woe's insane wailing more.

When I first got Sound the Alarm, I thought, "Wow, this album makes me wanna kill someone. In a good way." Under the Boards makes you wanna kill yourself. In a good way.

Go see them on the acoustic tour. It's great.

And that is what I think.

cherrycolarain (October 31, 2007)

I agree with Scott. There's just something unique about Sound The Alarm.

WarIsPeace (October 31, 2007)

I agree with some of the previous posts that Sound the Alarm is their best album. I think Stay What You Are is kinda overrated, In Reverie is underrated (as in, it wasn't as awful as people thought), and Through Being Cool is still good, mostly because it was one of my favorites in high school. Can't Slow Down was good, but they weren't really writing their own music then.

Paulrulzdood (October 31, 2007)

this is good, not quite as good as sound the alarm, but I dig it. you can really hear the glassjaw influence on a few of the slower/heavier songs.

Through Being Cool 10/10
Sound the Alarm 9/10
Stay What You Are 8.5/10
Can't Slow Down 8/10
Under The Boards 7.5/10
In Reverie 6/10

that's how I'd rank 'em for now

welcome_to_1984 (October 31, 2007)

Score is for Through Being Cool.

F_Ward (October 31, 2007)

This is good. I dunno, in a week or so it might just be an 8.

LooseKanonYankee (October 31, 2007)

probably, but it was a good record

maverick (October 31, 2007)

That mini-trilogy at the end of the disc is just so brutally heavy lyrically (and hell, even musically, at least for Saves The Day) that it's hard to listen to -- this album is obviously very cathartic for the dude, and I give him props for even making all of his deep, dark thoughts public.

"Can't Say The Same" is retardedly catchy, as well. So's "Bye Bye Baby."

Am I the only person who thinks Sound The Alarm was the band's best record?

-Scott

KurtTGS (October 31, 2007)

Score is for "Can't Stay the Same"

pdxtoph (October 30, 2007)

seriously, what the fuck happened to his voice

fallingupwards84 (October 30, 2007)

Well, considering the band's best efforts are basically 9s and 10s, yeah.

lolz

paris_in_flames (October 30, 2007)

This albums dec. Its nothing to write home about, and its probably my least favorite saves the day cd out yet. but then again I've felt the same about the past 2.

NotPatriotic (October 30, 2007)

Horrible album, if you like this type of music listen to a band like State Radio or something. "Get Fucked Up" and "Radio" are two of the worst songs I have heard all year. Overall garbage album. This band reminds me of Yellowcard.

cherrycolarain (October 30, 2007)

What I really enjoyed about this album which Brian surprisingly failed to mention is its amazing flow. It starts off with "Under The Boards" that sets the tone for the whole album and then it goes upbeat for the first 6 songs until reaches "Stay". From there it's a downhill of depressing songs that just get slower and slower until the combo of "Woe" and "Turning Over in My Tomb" end it in a beautifully haunting way. The songs individually are not that strong, but all together and with Coneley's voice, the album is incredibly powerful. I have to admit, I'm thoroughly impressed with how consistent the album is. It's like a Manic-Depressive disorder in 13 parts.

My only real concern is how these songs will come off live. Because, as I said before, most of them are not powerful enough alone.

thatsyouth (October 30, 2007)

this band has sucked ever since in reverie. everything before that was gold though. what the hell happened to his voice?

elephantdwarf (October 30, 2007)

i think that Sound the Alarm had a few better individual songs on it, but as far as the entire record goes, i think Under The Boards flows so well. definitely enjoy it better than Sound the Alarm.

billnye (October 30, 2007)

it's ok. i'd give it about a 6 or 7, about the same as sound the alarm.
in reverie is fucking amazing though. give that record a chance.

bryne (October 30, 2007)

I wasn't too keen on Sound The Alarm (I'd give it maybe a 6). This doesn't really sound like it's better. Meh. Maybe I'll get if off emusic.

aorta (October 30, 2007)

Sound the Alarm is a horrible record. This is leaps and bounds better, though still far short of the band's glory days.

Big_Guy (October 30, 2007)

don't like this album at all really

colin (October 30, 2007)

i think that sound the alarm was such a positive starting point to new sound for this band. and by starting i meant hoping they'd expand on it. it wasn't too long of an album, which was a good thing. under the boards is just disappointing all around - it's the same formula as the previous effort without the punch. it's the first record in years where saves the day hasn't just totally tried something new and it really shows in the lack of playtime this got after one listen.

it's a terrible release after such a promising start to re-energizing an old face. too bad.

Mookie_Blaylock (October 30, 2007)

Chris is through being cool. hardy har har

GlassPipeMurder (October 30, 2007)

does this have the fast punk tracks that Sound the Alarm had?

inagreendase (October 30, 2007)

...but ah hell, we'll give it 7/10 stars anyway.

Well, considering the band's best efforts are basically 9s and 10s, yeah.

Preston (October 30, 2007)

Chris Connely seems mentally ill on this album...

fallingupwards84 (October 30, 2007)

Under the Boards may be rather depressing and far from the band's best efforts...

...but ah hell, we'll give it 7/10 stars anyway.

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