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Sound the Alarm (Saves the Day album)

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Sound the Alarm
Saves the Day - Sound the Alarm cover.jpg
Studio album by Saves the Day
Released April 11, 2006
Recorded August–October 2005
Studio Electric Ladybug Studios
Genre
Length 35:11
Label Vagrant
Producer Steve Evetts
Saves the Day chronology
Ups & Downs: Early Recordings and B-Sides
(2004)Ups & Downs: Early Recordings and B-Sides2004
Sound the Alarm
(2006)
Under the Boards
(2007)Under the Boards2007

Sound the Alarm is the fifth studio album by American rock band Saves the Day. After signing to major label DreamWorks Records, the band released In Reverie in late 2003. Shortly afterwards DreamWorks Records was absorbed by Interscope Records, resulting in the band being dropped from label. After completing some songs in early 2005, the band was aiming to record in May, hoping to release the album in the fall. Pre-production took place in early August with recording being done at the band's own studio, Electric Ladybug Studios with Steve Evetts as the producer. After recording wrapped up in October, the band immediately undertook a 47-date US tour. Sound the Alarm, along with the later records Under the Boards (2007) and Daybreak (2011) form a trilogy whose theme is self-discovery.

In January 2006, the band re-signed with independent label Vagrant Records. After touring with Circa Survive and Moneen in spring 2006, Sound the Alarm was released in April. The album's release was preceded by the two songs—"The End" and "Shattered" —being made available for streaming. Sound the Alarm has received generally favorable reviews with a number of reviewers commenting on Conley's vocals. The album peaked at number 67 on the Billboard 200 chart and number four on the Independent Albums chart. Saves the Day performed as part of Warped Tour 2006. The band embarked on a brief east coast tour with I Am the Avalanche and Pistolita in September, followed by a co-headlining tour with Say Anything in spring 2007.

Background[edit]

In 2003, Saves the Day signed to major label DreamWorks Records[1] and released In Reverie in September of that year.[2] Frontman Chris Conley received a call from the band's A&R person at the label: "[H]e said, 'None of the programmers at radio are biting at the single, and MTV doesn't want to play the video, so we're going to have to start thinking about the next record.' I had a total breakdown. I was like, 'How is this possible? The album just came out!'"[3] A few weeks after the album's release, DreamWorks Records was absorbed by Interscope Records and not long after, the band was dropped from the label.[3] Using all the money they had, the group decided to build their own studio. Conley explained, "if we have a place to make cheap records, we can keep the band going for years".[3]

Before they began working on new material, Conley was having doubts about himself. "[I] completely lost faith in myself" after the lack of success with In Reverie, "when that happened, a chamber got opened up inside me, a vault of seething despair".[3] Sometime after, Conley locked himself in a room, forcing himself to write new material. He explained that "all of a sudden, the shit storm came. And there was plenty of material -- just frustration and rage and desperation, just the fear of losing everything".[3] Following the completion of new songs in February 2005, the group planned to start recording in May, with a projected fall release date for the new album.[4] Prior to the recording sessions, bassist Eben D'Amico was replaced by Glassjaw bassist Manuel Carrero.[3]

Recording[edit]

On August 4, 2005, the band began pre-production, and the following day were "in full swing, blazing through songs in rehearsal" in preparation for recording.[5] By this point, the group had 18 songs, and aimed to record 14 of them. The band called this material "short and fast and angry," citing several songs they were working on: "Head for the Hills," "Sound the Alarm," "Diseased" and "Eulogy".[5] The recording sessions for Sound the Alarm were self-funded by the band,[1] which Conley described as having "stretched us, for sure".[6] He said the band considered themselves "lucky enough to have enough capital" to start recording,[6] which took place at their personal studio, Electric Ladybug Studios.[7] Producer duties were handled by Steve Evetts,[1] who produced the group's first two albums, Can't Slow Down (1998) and Through Being Cool (1999).[5]

According to Conley, the band worked with Evetts again as he could "see what your qualities are and bring out the best in you".[6] Evetts also engineered the recordings, with assistance from Jesse Cannon during drum tracking.[7] On August 28, 2005, the band posted a recording update on their website. In the post, Conley mentioned the band had worked on a song titled "Sticky 500" the day before, and were proceeding to work on "Say You'll Never Leave". He revealed that he had done "some rough vocals" takes and noted that recording was "moving along pretty quickly now".[8] The band announced they had finished recording on October 19.[9] The album was mixing by Chad Blinman at The Eye Socket and mastered by Dave Collins at Dave Collins Mastering.[7]

Composition[edit]

Sound the Alarm is the first album in a trilogy with the theme of self-discovery. It was followed by Under the Boards (2007) and Daybreak (2011). Conley said that Sound the Alarm was "an expression of discontent. Under the Boards is reflection and remorse. Daybreak is acceptance."[10] All the album's songs were written by the band, with Conley providing lyrics.[7] According to Conley, Sound the Alarm details the "furious truth of my aching heart, my tumultuous emotional landscape, and my fractured psyche. Knowing that I needed to turn myself around after nearly destroying myself and my relationships with my strained emotional existence".[11] Describing the album's theme, Conley said it was "desolation, like you're the last person standing after the apocalypse and you're alone and you're cold. Your home has been obliterated, but you have to keep on trucking through those feelings of isolation and desolation and keep hope alive in the midst of insanity."[6]

Conley described "Head for the Hills" as being "thoughts that creep up and swallow you, and you can't ignore the negative, the hell inside".[3] "Shattered" and "Delusional" were initially intended to appear on In Reverie; both were rewritten for inclusion on Sound the Alarm.[12] Conley said "'Don't Know Why [is] my blues. It's one of those songs that keeps me off the ledge personally. I sing it to myself all the time when I'm at home alone."[3] On the album's sound, Conley revealed that the group purposefully "kept it simple," relying solely on two guitars, bass and drums, attempting to create "a raw album" in the process.[6] The album's sound has been described as emo,[13][14][15] pop,[16] pop punk[13][17][15] and power pop.[18]

Release[edit]

Immediately after finishing recording, the band went on a 47-date tour,[6] with Senses Fail, The Early November and Say Anything, lasting from October until December 2005.[19] On January 8, 2006, the band formally announced Carrero was a member of the group,[20] and on January 30, that they had re-signed with independent label Vagrant Records. The label had previously released the band's Stay What You Are (2001) and Ups & Downs: Early Recordings and B-Sides (2004) albums.[1] Label boss Rich Egan stated that the band "helped put Vagrant on the map" and that the label was "ecstatic to have them back".[1] On February 13, the track listing and artwork for Sound the Alarm, which was designed by Soloway,[7] was revealed.[21] In March and April, the band toured the US with support from Circa Survive and Moneen.[22]

On March 23, "The End" and "Shattered" were made available for streaming.[23] This was followed by a second leg of the tour with Circa Survive and Moneen, running into April and May.[24] Sound the Alarm was initially planned for release on April 4,[1] before being released on April 11 through Vagrant Records.[25] A music video was released for "The End".[26] The band appeared on Warped Tour 2006[27] performing two sets: one on the main stage and an acoustic set on the Vagrant stage.[28] In September, the band went on a brief east coast tour with support from I Am the Avalanche and Pistolita.[29] In November, Conley performed a few solo shows across the east coast.[30] In March 2007, Parada left the group and was replaced by Classic Case/Glassjaw drummer Durijah Lang.[31] In April and May, the band went a co-headlining tour with Say Anything.[32]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic64/100[33]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic3.5/5 stars[13]
Alternative Press4/5 stars[16]
Entertainment WeeklyB [34]
Gigwise7/10 stars[35]
IGN5.4/10[36]
Iowa State Daily3/5[14]
The Morning CallUnfavorable[37]
Now3/5[38]
PopMatters3/10 stars[39]

Sound the Alarm reached number 67 on the Billboard 200 chart[40] and number four on the Independent Albums chart.[41] According to review aggregator Metacritic, the album received generally favourable reviews.[33]

The music of Sound the Alarm divided reviewers, with some praising it, while others were unimpressed. AllMusic reviewer Corey Apar viewed the album as a return to the "aggressive pop-punk nature" of Through Being Cool, "but ya know, five years more mature".[13] Entertainment Weekly reviewer Leah Greenblatt considered the album is "as turgidly epic as the tenets of the genre demand" with the band having seemingly "rediscovered their riff-heavy melodics" to sit alongside "impressively righteous indignation".[34] Gigwise staff member David Renshaw regarded the instrumentation as being "nothing spectacular," while noting that there were "riffs piled on top of riffs ... and a few funky basslines".[35]

IGN reviewer Chad Grischow maintained that the music "comes across [as] toothless", lacking "any originality," and was "too repetitive and predictable".[36] Evan Davies of Now observed that the album sounded like the group were "going through an identity crisis".[38] In a review for the Iowa State Daily, Tyler Barrett held a similar viewpoint, commenting that the band sounding as if they were "clearly caught in a web of aspirations, all at once attempting to evolve musically while sticking to its roots".[14] PopMatters reviewer Dan Raper asserted that the songs, "for all their bluster, hardly make any impression at all. ... Saves the Day have given their fans nothing exciting, innovative, or new."[39]

Reaction to Conley's voice was mixed with some reviewers commenting on its whininess; his lyrics received equally mixed responses. Apar noted Conley's vocals as walking "that fine line between endearing and annoying" and likened them to Raine Maida of Our Lady Peace crossed with Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols.[13] Davies said Conley "has toned down his once enraging nasal whine and sounds unusually aggressive".[38] Grischow, however, stated that Conley "whines his way through the entire album, sounding as though he is on his knees begging for something".[36] In a review for Alternative Press, Scott Heisel reckoned Conley "seem[ed] to take pride in wearing his heart not just on his lyrical sleeve, but on any organ you’d care to eviscerate".[16] John J. Moser of The Morning Call considered the lyrics were "as dark and violent" as possible, and suggested they would "repuls[e] listeners instead of having them relate."[37] Renshaw, on the other hand, said "the thing that keeps you coming back to this album is the lyrics".[35]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Saves the Day. All lyrics written by Chris Conley.[7]

  1. "Head for the Hills" – 2:50
  2. "The End" – 1:54
  3. "Shattered" – 3:08
  4. "Eulogy" – 3:22
  5. "Dying Day" – 2:21
  6. "34" – 2:22
  7. "Say You'll Never Leave" – 2:20
  8. "Diseased" – 2:12
  9. "Don't Know Why" – 3:22
  10. "Sound the Alarm" – 3:06
  11. "Bones" – 2:23
  12. "Delusional" – 2:07
  13. "Hell Is Here" – 3:36

Personnel[edit]

Personnel per booklet.[7]

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (2006) Peak
position
US Billboard 200[40] 67
US Billboard Independent Albums[41] 4

References[edit]

Citations
  1. ^ a b c d e f "Saves The Day sign with Vagrant Records (again)". Alternative Press. Alternative Press Magazine, Inc. January 30, 2006. Archived from the original on August 16, 2016. Retrieved June 27, 2016.
  2. ^ Sciarretto 2003, p. 5
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Smith, Dane (April 11, 2006). "Saves the Day Rock Their Paranoia". Rolling Stone. Jann Wenner. Archived from the original on November 4, 2016. Retrieved November 3, 2016.
  4. ^ Roth, Kaj (February 22, 2005). "New album with Saves The Day later this year". Melodic. Archived from the original on November 4, 2016. Retrieved November 3, 2016.
  5. ^ a b c Roth, Kaj (August 5, 2005). "Saves the day studio report and new collection coming up". Melodic. Archived from the original on November 4, 2016. Retrieved November 3, 2016.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Harris, Chris (October 27, 2005). "Saves The Day Don't Want To Be Like Fall Out Boy". MTV. Viacom. Archived from the original on August 9, 2016. Retrieved July 22, 2016.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Sound the Alarm (Booklet). Saves the Day. Vagrant/Hassle. 2006. VRUK035CD.
  8. ^ Paul, Aubin (August 28, 2005). "Saves The Day posts recording update; promises "The Beatles from Hell"". Punknews.org. Aubin Paul. Archived from the original on October 10, 2016. Retrieved October 9, 2016.
  9. ^ Paul, Aubin (October 19, 2005). "Saves the Day completes recording". Punknews.org. Aubin Paul. Archived from the original on October 10, 2016. Retrieved October 9, 2016.
  10. ^ Paul, Aubin (June 18, 2007). "Saves The Day hits the studio, promises new albums in 2007, 2008". Punknews.org. Aubin Paul. Archived from the original on August 17, 2017. Retrieved August 17, 2017.
  11. ^ Verducci, Richard (January 6, 2012). "Chris Conley (Saves the Day)". Punknews.org. Aubin Paul. Archived from the original on May 2, 2017. Retrieved May 2, 2017.
  12. ^ "Questions and Answers | The Official Saves The Day Website". Saves the Day. Archived from the original on February 20, 2010. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
  13. ^ a b c d e Apar, Corey. "Sound the Alarm - Saves the Day : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. All Media Network, LLC. Archived from the original on August 28, 2015. Retrieved August 28, 2015.
  14. ^ a b c Barrett, Tyler (April 13, 2006). "CD REVIEW: Saves the Day". Iowa State Daily. Archived from the original on August 20, 2017. Retrieved December 3, 2015.
  15. ^ a b Kaminsky, David (November 7, 2007). "Saves the Day: 'Under the Boards'". Student Life. Washington University Student Media, Inc. Archived from the original on August 17, 2017. Retrieved August 17, 2017.
  16. ^ a b c Heisel, Scott (May 31, 2006). "Alt Press | Review | Saves The Day - Sound the Alarm". Alternative Press. Alternative Press Magazine, Inc. Archived from the original on November 3, 2010. Retrieved August 28, 2015.
  17. ^ Ryan, Kyle (October 30, 2007). "Under The Boards · Saves The Day · Music Review Saves The Day: Under The Boards · Music Review". The A.V. Club. The Onion, Inc. Archived from the original on December 8, 2015. Retrieved December 3, 2015.
  18. ^ Roth, Kaj (April 9, 2006). "Saves the Day - Sound the Alarm". Melodic. Archived from the original on September 18, 2017. Retrieved July 18, 2017.
  19. ^ Paul, Aubin (August 12, 2005). "Saves the Day touring with Senses Fail, the Early November, Say Anything". Punknews.org. Aubin Paul. Archived from the original on October 10, 2016. Retrieved October 9, 2016.
  20. ^ Paul, Aubin (January 8, 2006). "Saves The Day adds second leg of tour, bassist". Punknews.org. Aubin Paul. Archived from the original on October 10, 2016. Retrieved October 9, 2016.
  21. ^ "Saves The Day reveal tracklistings for new LP, acoustic EP". Alternative Press. Alternative Press Magazine, Inc. February 13, 2006. Archived from the original on August 17, 2016. Retrieved June 28, 2016.
  22. ^ "Saves The Day/Circa Survive/Moneen tour announced". Alternative Press. Alternative Press Magazine, Inc. January 11, 2006. Archived from the original on August 16, 2016. Retrieved June 26, 2016.
  23. ^ "Vagrant posts new Saves The Day and Moneen songs". Alternative Press. Alternative Press Magazine, Inc. March 23, 2006. Archived from the original on August 21, 2016. Retrieved July 19, 2016.
  24. ^ "Second batch of Saves The Day/Circa Survive/Moneen dates". Alternative Press. Alternative Press Magazine, Inc. January 18, 2006. Archived from the original on August 20, 2017. Retrieved June 27, 2016.
  25. ^ Apar, Corey. "Sound the Alarm - Saves the Day | Release Info". AllMusic. All Media Network, LLC. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  26. ^ Saves the Day (December 4, 2009). "Saves The Day - The End". YouTube. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  27. ^ Sherman, Maria (June 17, 2014). "Saves the Day's Chris Conley Talks Warped Tour & Evolution of Pop-Punk". Fuse.tv. Fuse Networks, LLC. Retrieved July 8, 2018.
  28. ^ MTV News Staff (March 16, 2006). "For The Record: Quick News On Tupac Shakur, Ace Young, Gary Glitter, Snoop Dogg, Lara Croft, Saves The Day & More". MTV. Viacom. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  29. ^ "Saves The Day announce shows with I Am The Avalanche". Alternative Press. Alternative Press Magazine, Inc. August 16, 2006. Archived from the original on August 22, 2016. Retrieved August 4, 2016.
  30. ^ "Chris Conley of Saves The Day announces solo shows". Alternative Press. Alternative Press Magazine, Inc. September 18, 2006. Archived from the original on August 22, 2016. Retrieved August 4, 2016.
  31. ^ Wilson, MacKenzie. "Saves the Day | Biography & History". AllMusic. All Media Network, LLC. Archived from the original on November 4, 2016. Retrieved November 3, 2016.
  32. ^ Staff (March 27, 2007). "For The Record: Quick News On Justin Timberlake, Avril Lavigne, Britney Spears, Jessica Simpson, Eminem & More". MTV. Viacom. Archived from the original on August 9, 2016. Retrieved July 23, 2016.
  33. ^ a b "Critic Reviews for Sound the Alarm". Metacritic. CBS Interactive Inc. Archived from the original on May 3, 2017. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
  34. ^ a b Greenblatt, Leah (April 10, 2006). "Sound the Alarm Review | Music Reviews and News". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Archived from the original on June 6, 2012. Retrieved August 28, 2015.
  35. ^ a b c Renshaw, David (May 8, 2006). "Saves The Day - 'Sound The Alarm' (Vagrant) 01/05/06". Gigwise. Archived from the original on August 19, 2016. Retrieved July 26, 2016.
  36. ^ a b c Grischow, Chad (April 11, 2006). "Saves The Day - Sound The Alarm". IGN. Archived from the original on October 30, 2016. Retrieved October 29, 2016.
  37. ^ a b Moser, John J. (September 16, 2006). "Saves the Day "Sound the Alarm" (Vagrant)". The Morning Call. Robert York. Retrieved July 8, 2018.
  38. ^ a b c Davies, Evan. "Saves the Day - Sound the Alarm". Now. Now Communications. Archived from the original on April 18, 2007. Retrieved November 3, 2016.
  39. ^ a b Raper, Dan (May 31, 2006). "Saves the Day: Sound the Alarm". PopMatters. PopMatters Media, Inc. Archived from the original on December 11, 2015. Retrieved December 3, 2015.
  40. ^ a b "Saves the Day - Chart history (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Archived from the original on September 17, 2016. Retrieved August 10, 2016.
  41. ^ a b "Saves the Day - Chart history (Independent Albums)". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Archived from the original on September 17, 2016. Retrieved August 10, 2016.
Sources
  • Sciarretto, Amy (Sep 22, 2003). "Reviews". CMJ New Music Report. CMJ Network, Inc. 77 (832).