Saves the Day

Saves the Day isn't going to change the world. Playing power-pop drivel and crooning teenage sap to high school girls won't cure breast cancer or keep the four horsemen from raising hell -- but then again, that's a lot to ask of a band, especially one from New Jersey. There is a saving grace to Saves the Day, however: The four-piece -- Chris Conley, Pete Parada, David Soloway and newbie Manny Carrero -- may not be great, but to some wide-eyed kid getting a safe and sterile kick-start into punk rock, it's pretty good. After a short stint in the majors, the outfit has re-signed with indie-pop big shots Vagrant Records alongside such other kinder-punk acts as Hot Rod Circuit and Alkaline Trio. The just-released Sound the Alarm is like a teen-movie soundtrack for warm summer nights of dumb crushes and pool-hopping. Although it's not the group's best effort (2001's Stay What You Are is far better), it's an honest attempt at growing up and changing on the inside.

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