Can't Slow Down documents the origins of a very young punk band blessed with unusual talent. Due only to their instrumental superiority, Saves the Day's subsequent releases slightly eclipse this 1998 full-length debut. Listeners will probably prefer Through Being Cool's more developed emocore melodicism and highly evolved arrangements. That's not to say that Can't Slow Down fails to deliver any of the pop-punk components that emo fans would expect from the New Jersey musicians. Most notably, vocalist and songwriter Chris Conley's inventive lyrical approach is up to the high standard of later material. Worded like journal entries and love letters, Conley's refreshing verses are free of clichйs and predictable rhymes, giving an honesty and definition to his work that similar artists generally can't match. Things really click on better cuts like "Always Ten Feet Tall," but for the most part, Can't Slow Down doesn't quite deliver the musicality that fans of Saves the Day might expect. ~ Vincent Jeffries Former Members Of Mouthpiece Saves The Day: Chris Conley (vocals); Anthony Anastacio, Justin Gaylord (Guitar); Sean McGrath (bass); Bryan Newman (drums).
WOW... This is the record that got me hooked on these guys. I had always enjoyed the bands on Equal Vision so one day while i was just looking around for nothing in particular i ran in to this cd. At first i just passed it off assuming it was some shitty mainstream rock band (as most are in this record store) since i had never heard fo them (and i dont think ANYONE had). But then as i looked at the back i saw that they were on Equal Vision so I thought what the hell? and i bought it. As soon as i got home i put it in the CD player and was very suprised at what i heard. Not a heavy-hardcore band like i had suspected (considering the Equal Vision label on the back) but what i heard was a nice melodic-hardcore band which reminded me so much of Lifetime. The main difference between Saves the Day and Lifetime is the vocals. Though both Ari (Lifetime) and Chris (Saves the Day) are very into the songs, Chris's voice is much softer and not as rough as Ari's therefore it doesn't seem like he is "scringing" (thats my word for scream singing) but if you ever get to see these guys live you'll see how into it he really gets. Well enough about who they sound like on to the songs!
The album starts off with a heavy guitar that is quickly followed by a fast paced high pitched riff, then the drums come in and then the singing. This is a fast melodic hardcore song that is very Lifetimeish. The next song which is also featured on the "East Coast Hardcore Vs. West Coast Hardcore" compilation is called "The Choke". It is much slower than the first track but is a fast paced song which breaks down near the end. Up next is "Handsome Boy", a very short but sweet song about Chris wishing he looked like someone else. "Blindfolded" is the next song to play and it kind of reminds me of track 2 "The Choke" mixed with the first song "Deciding". This song is one of my favourites. It is constantly going back and forth between fast drum beats and slower drums beats all held together by smooth guitar riffs. Very catchy. The next song is "Collision" and it is my favourite on the album. It is by far the fastest one therefore making it the favourite of many people who are into faster stuff like Good Riddance and NOFX. The reason it is my favourite is #1 i enjoy faster music and #2 the guitar work on this song is excellent, mixing fast and furious with lighter poppier stuff. Now from one extreme to the next, "Three Miles Down" is an acoustic song with just a guitar and Chris singing. this is a very good song. I'm suprised this wasn't the last track however i guess it was a little short at only 1:36. Next is a song that is more in the style of those found on "Through Being Cool". I dont like the music as much on this one but Chris's vocals make up for that and more. He is an excellent singer who can take this song which has a rather weak backbone of music and turn it into a very good one. "Nebraska Bricks" is next up. This song is another fast paced dandy. The song is about having problems with you're family and wanted to just get away from it all by using music. "cuz after call that happens in a dissolving family the need for a song to sing me to sleep still rings true" says it all for that song. Track 9 is titled "Seeing It This Way". This is another song that reminds me of Lifetime once more. Number ten on this disc is called "Hot Time In Delaware" this song is alright but it isn't one that stands out on the album. Next is a song that begins the best chunk of the record. #11 titled "Houses And Billboards" is an amazing song. It starts out fast and upbeat then slowly gets slower and slower until there is just a guitar and the odd sound of a snare drum here and there. The next track "Obsolete" is another one of my favourites. It is once more a fast song. This time in the middle of the song everything cuts out but the guitar and Chris's vocals [my fav. part:)] then everything comes back in and it finishes as fast as it started."Sometimes, New Jersey" is the 2nd last song and the shortest. First few times around this was my favourite song. The las song is genius. "Jodie" mixes the sounds of guitars tuned down to drop d with the normal Saves the Day riffs. This is the longest song on the cd at 4:36.
Review Summary: "Don't leave yet, it's still early and I haven't even said a word."
4 of 4 thought this review was well written
Time is both a band's best friend and worst enemy. A countless number of artists have struck gold early on in their careers, releasing classic albums that increase in merit and influence over time while fans watch the artists fade into irrelevance, struggling to cling on to what fame they have left. It's kind of sad, really, to see bands that were once making heartfelt music now grasping at straws, forcing their creative juices to recirculate, when the passion is no longer there. They resort to booking reunion and anniversary tours, reissuing albums, and making attempts at a stylistic return to form, when, in reality, nothing will ever help them live up to the gigantic expectations created by a classic debut or sophomore release. While Saves the Day have possibly overstayed their welcome and do exemplify this cycle to a degree, they have generally withstood the test of time, maintaining a dedicated fanbase and remaining as a reputable and highly influential pop punk band. So hey, let's cut them a break (and pretend that Daybreak and Under the Boards don't exist), because after all, the New Jersey legends released not one, not two, but three classic albums early on in their career, the first of which being Can't Slow Down.
So it's no secret (and certainly no surprise) that Saves the Day worshipped their New Jersey brethren in Lifetime, and no album in their discography makes it more obvious than Can't Slow Down. From the barrage of power chords, melodic guitar leads, bouncing bass lines and rapid punk drum beats to Chris Conley's oscillating shout (that is nearly identical to Ari Katz' urgent yet sinfully catchy vocal delivery), the young, soon-to-be pop punk vets mirrored Lifetime in almost every aspect. Needless to say, the resulting fourteen track album is a relentlessly catchy, thirty minute sing-along that showcases Saves the Day before they found their true identity.
Now, the question is, does the album's striking similarities to Lifetime make Can't Slow Down any less enjoyable, or for that matter, any less of a pop punk classic? Absolutely not. However, a listener's connection with the album may not be instantaneous. At first, fourteen tracks may be a bit overwhelming, especially considering the similarities between them, with the exception of fan-favorite acoustic track, "Three Miles Down." Though no two tracks on the album differ drastically, they are almost all littered with little ear-catching moments to quickly help you differentiate one song from another, whether it be "The Choke's" unforgettable outro, the melancholic, cathartic build up in "Always Ten Feet Tall," or the gang vocals in "Handsome Boy." These obvious, instantly memorable moments will be the ones that suck the listener in on the first few spins of the record, but with each listen it becomes more apparent that almost every moment on the album is memorable. In no time at all, a few catchy stand out tracks turn into one cohesive, inseparable thirty minute ride just begging to be recited word for word.
While Can't Slow Down is undeniably a classic album, it is not without its flaws. In addition to the somewhat repetitive and limited nature of the tracks, one of the more glaring issues is with Conley's lyrics, which are strong overall but at times make little to no sense. For the sake of maintaining a concise, catchy, and quick vocal delivery, he will often rearrange a line to an almost nonsensical point. Take "Seeing It This Way" for example, in which one of the lines reads, "With all this complicated can't get past the thought of thinking, wonder whether hope or understanding rings truer." Personally, I can't help but laugh to myself each time I hear Conley recall how he "breathed in water smells" down at "some boating dock." Can't Slow Down is not the only Saves the Day album to feature awkwardly phrased lyrics (see the mantra in "Firefly" off Stay What You Are), but it is safe to say that the sheer catchiness and overall content of the lyrics makes up for any questionable word choices or omissions.
Considering everything that Saves the Day have accomplished over the course of an 18-year career, Can't Slow Down is still undoubtedly a staple of their discography, and any fan of the band or genre overlooking this phenomenal debut is doing himself a disservice. This album represents the glory days of pop punk before stagnation, when bands like Brand New, Taking Back Sunday, and The Get Up Kids were all doing radically different things for the genre, for all the right reasons. Although this isn't Saves the Day's self-definitive magnum opus, Can't Slow Down should be regarded as the exciting beginning of a band who went on to change pop punk as we know it and leave a lasting impression on many bands to come.
Can't Slow Down documents the origins of a very young punk band blessed with unusual talent. Due only to their instrumental superiority, Saves the Day's subsequent releases slightly eclipse this 1998 full-length debut. Listeners will probably prefer Through Being Cool's more developed emocore melodicism and highly evolved arrangements. That's not to say that Can't Slow Down fails to deliver any of the pop-punk components that emo fans would expect from the New Jersey musicians. Most notably, vocalist and songwriter Chris Conley's inventive lyrical approach is up to the high standard of later material. Worded like journal entries and love letters, Conley's refreshing verses are free of clichés and predictable rhymes, giving an honesty and definition to his work that similar artists generally can't match. Things really click on better cuts like "Always Ten Feet Tall," but for the most part, Can't Slow Down doesn't quite deliver the musicality that fans of Saves the Day might expect.
Saves The Day – Can't Slow Down (1998) 320kbps