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Saves The Day

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Perfecting their power pop rock since the mid-'90s, New Jersey's Saves the Day call it like it is. They refrain from characteristic pogo-pouncing anthems for their own quirky post-punk and energetic live shows, influencing a new school of emo/punk bands along the way. The first incarnation of Saves the Day happened when singer/songwriter Chris Conley was only 13, and the band was first called Indifference and later, Seffler. A name change to their current moniker, taken from a lyric from the Farside song "Hero," came with the recording of their first demo. Conley (vocals), Eben D'Amico (bass), Ted Alexander (guitar), David Soloway (guitar), and Bryan Newman (drums) made their debut with 1997's Can't Slow Down on Equal Vision Records, though D'Amico didn't join the lineup until after this album. Recorded during winter break of their high-school senior year, the record featured production work from Steve Evetts (Sepultura, Dillinger Escape Plan, Sick of It All).

Through Being Cool followed two years later, gaining a wider fan base and critical success among select punk markets with its greater pop sensibility. However, Saves the Day changed things up for 2001's Stay What You Are. Their third installment, and first release for Vagrant Records, Stay What You Are brought Rob Schnapf (Beck, Elliott Smith, Toadies) to the mixing boards for a more structured punk rock effort. The album sold more than 200,000 copies, landed on the Billboard charts, and produced two heavily rotated MTV2 videos for "At Your Funeral" and "Freakish." Lots of touring followed; they headlined 2001's Vagrant tour with labelmates Dashboard Confessional, and scored opening slots for Weezer and the Pop Disaster Tour with Green Day and blink-182.

In Reverie, the band's first for DreamWorks and with new drummer Pete Parada, followed two years later. Vagrant issued Ups & Downs: Early Recordings and B-Sides in August 2004, an album that contained exactly what the title states. Saves the Day re-signed with Vagrant in early 2006 and officially welcomed new bassist Manny Carrero into their ranks. Sound the Alarm followed that April, which of course meant tour dates through the rest of the year, including dates on summer's Warped. Parada made his exit in March 2007 and was replaced soon enough by ex-Classic Case/Glassjaw drummer Durijah Lang. ~ MacKenzie Wilson, Rovi


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