Save Ends - Strength vs. Will (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Save Ends

Strength vs. Will (2012)


Boston's Save Ends--featuring former members of No Trigger and Rotary--are a bunch of nerds. Their name, the name of this EP, Strength vs. Will, and the name of their 2010 debut EP, Ten or Better, are all references to Dungeons and Dragons. This EP contains a song called "Resurrection Hub," a reference to sci-fi show Battlestar Galactica. So yeah, up the nerd punx.

This sensibility certainly makes its way into the lyrics. This reviewer isn't convinced that "Sweet Defeat" isn't about a previous night's campaign--but this isn't some Dragonforce-style dragons and swords material. If anything, the band uses these at times to frame lyrics that are all too identifiable. "Dead and Gone" finds the band singing of longing to leave its city for new adventures, whereas "Settling Here" begins with a bittersweet portrait of still being in the home where a relationship failed.

This five-song EP delivers a set of solidly crafted pop-punk songs that really show that the band has grown since its previous release, the aforementioned Ten or Better. There's more interplay between the band's two vocalists, and the mixing of Christine Atturio's (guitar, vocals) sugary sweet delivery and Brendan Cahill's (keyboard, vocals) somewhat rougher voice is used to great effect, especially on songs like "Settling Here," where the harmonizing in the chorus elevates the song.

As great as that debut EP sounded, Strength vs. Will shows the band really advancing its songwriting abilities, and branching out while still crafting tight, catchy-as-hell songs. Not checking this band out would definitely constitute a critical failure.

You can stream the whole EP at Bandcamp.