Save Your Breath - Nothing Worth Having Comes Easy
One of the most important weapons a musician has at their disposal is silence - though a lot of listeners wouldn't be able to pick out the dynamics of their favorite records, they can definitely feel it. Often times, it’s exactly that part of the audio spectrum that is not filled which has the greatest aural impact on the audience. Unfortunately, this is a lesson Welch Pop punk quintet Save Your Breath has yet to discover early in their young careers and proves, at least for now, to be an unsurmountable obstacle.
Their extended play debut proper Nothing Worth Having Comes Easy starts out full bore and never stops; but this is a horse that runs with a limp gait. The music feels like it was made by a band so full and confident you know they’re hiding some deep insecurities. Even taken within a pop-screamo setting, a genre not typically regarded for its nuance, Save Your Breath stands alone by clinging stridently to the worst impulses of their brethren.
Every inch of breathable air is filled with fuzzed-out guitars. Singer Kristian Richards rarely, if ever, ventures from his upper register, loudly belting each note with equal aplomb and identical feeling. It seems unfair to blame the singing (indeed Richards only joined this past January), when clearly the rhythm players have created an environment completely disinterested in variety. Even on the moments that are ostensibly breaks in the action, like the breakdown halfway into “You’ve Got Lizard Blood,” the fresh air isn’t created by anyone actually backing off - just full-on, open chords with a slight dampening effect that was clearly applied after the fact. In other words, the offense inchoate in Save’s desire to create a relatable sound is that they have let production tricks and tossed off conventions stand in for challenging themselves as songwriters.
Nothing Worth Having Comes Easy deviates so little from the oldest conventions of pop/punk that it’s almost totally inessential even for the most dedicated scions of Hawthorne Heights and Motion City Soundtrack. The music is performed ably enough but that’s like complimenting the person who painted the 200th replica of a Da Vinci.
This is a movie we’ve seen done many times before, all preprogrammed drama with no real interest or sense of the unexpected.
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on 2010-04-12 Archelon Said:
Spot on review, I do have a soft spot for Motion City Soundtrack though ;)
on 2010-04-08 dscanland Said:
Hey Matthew, great honest review. Hopefully Save Your Breath will at least take a few pointers from your POV and improve. Sounds like they have the chops, they just need some of the originality and clever songwriting to take them to the next level.