Welsh pop-punk outfit Save Your Breath's new record There Used To Be A Place For Us has the distinction of being the first international release from Los Angeles-based Animal Style Records. Producing a sound reminiscent of the early 2000's heyday of that particular era, the band proudly takes care of their own business matters whether it be booking shows or sending out mail-orders from their webstore. For folks yearning for the pop-punk sound that dominated airwaves a decade ago, There Used To Be A Place For Us is a fun listen.
Opening track "Lessons" provides a glimpse at the frenzied, polished sound that dominates the entire record. The polished sound shouldn't really come as a surprise, but considering that most of the band members have outside jobs (including running a tattoo business, graphic design, freelance art, and volunteering with juvenile delinquents) it's quite a feat. "Harrow Road" provides a refreshing change of pace carried by a fast drum beat. Midway through the album, the band pumps the brakes with "Skin And Bone" - probably the closest thing to a ballad you'll hear on the record.
My personal favorite track "Abandon" features a catchy hook provided by some clever songwriting ("the whiter the lie, the darker the truth"). Another standout, "Touchpaper," has an inspiring message about finding yourself. Unfortunately, portions of the second-half of the album begin to drag a bit as several of the songs become lost in the shuffle (particularly tracks #7-9). The title track that closes the record is a major head-scratcher as the band exudes an entirely different sound and vibe. There isn't really much to the song other than some dreamlike guitars and lead singer Kristian repeating "you are what you make yourself." Although There Used To Be A Place For Us doesn't exactly end on a high note, readers who enjoyed big name pop-punk bands from a decade ago like Sum 41, New Found Glory, or The Used should still check it out.