Saves the Day
Can't Slow Down


4.5
superb

Review

by Mary Paultese USER (35 Reviews)
September 16th, 2012 | 16 replies | 2,678 views


Release Date: 1998 | Tracklist

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.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
pmmets07
September 15th 2012



5865 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

fuck a summary

i know nobody cares about this band on here anymore but i'm currently obsessed

cvlts
September 15th 2012



8954 Comments


dont think this is a 4.5 but damn good album.

sweet review brah

pmmets07
September 15th 2012



5865 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

thanks dud. honestly every part of me wants to give this a 5 but i know that would be foolish

Solisis
September 15th 2012



370 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

awesome band, through with being cool and stay what you are the def the best though

pmmets07
September 15th 2012



5865 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

stay what you are is my fave this is a close second, although through being cool is the one that got me hooked.

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
September 15th 2012



50088 Comments


I didn't even know these guys were around that long

Digging: Tiny Moving Parts - Pleasant Living

pmmets07
September 15th 2012



5865 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

yeah they used to be "sefler" in 1994 but didn't put this out till 1998. they old as fuck

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
September 15th 2012



19672 Comments


I care about this band. Haven't heard this one so I think I'll check it out.
Good review, pos.

skoopy48
September 16th 2012



1478 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Yeah this pretty much rules. Before his voice turned weird

Solisis
September 16th 2012



370 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

His voice rules weird wtf

skoopy48
September 16th 2012



1478 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

No i mean on their new one its really high or at leasy higher than their older stuff

SCREAMorphine
September 16th 2012



1752 Comments


Good review, pos.

One of the funnest bands live.

JackSparrow
September 16th 2012



1686 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Fucking rules, great review

Yotimi
September 16th 2012



6464 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Album-wise I prefer Jersey's Best Dancers but 'Always Ten Feet Tall' is better than anything Lifetime ever did

Digging: Millie and Andrea - Drop The Vowels

Cygnatti
December 17th 2012



21350 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

if this is lifetime worship, this probably rules

pmmets07
December 17th 2012



5865 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

i think i listened to this album every day this past summer



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