Fun times with indie-pop from Boston’s Save Ends. Their debut full-length after several years of EPs, Warm Hearts, Cold Hands is a harder-edged Dollyrots or Mixtapes. It’s super-poppy, and the whole album is pretty much “Harmonies! Energy! Riffs!” for its entirety.
Save Ends really aim for energetic songs, but the lyrics drag everything down. It’s not that the music isn’t good — the riffs are catchy, the keys are nice when they come through, and the bass and drums make for a head-nodding beat. It’s more that the songs contain lyrics talking about falling down, blood draining from arms, things breaking down, and feeling alone.
Granted, the songs try to aim for a positive outlook, but the optimism doesn’t come through nearly as clearly as it should. “Skeptical Sons/Curious Daughters” works that balance pretty well, but everything else seems to get mired in the darkness, finding it difficult to look toward a sunnier horizon.
Additionally, the keys really don’t come through in the mix as much as I’d like them to. “A Life They Wrote” and “Kurzweil” have them in there, somewhere, but it’s almost like they’re more hinted-at than actually acknowledged. Maybe I want the band to be more Anniversary than Get Up Kids. Hell, I’d be happy if they were “Mass Pike,” but it seems they’re aiming for more “Ten Minutes.”
You can buy Save Ends’ Warm Hearts, Cold Hands from the Tiny Engines store on vinyl. First pressing info is as follows: 105 Blue with White + Green Starburst, 130 Transparent Fiery Orange, 150 Transparent Light Blue, and 215 Opaque Gray. The opaque grey’s kind of marbled, FYI.