‘Chasing the sun’, ‘We won't stop without a fight’, ‘I am already on my way’,… no, I am not talking about a Polyphonic Spree’s song but about Safe Haven’s latest and third full-length album. If the music has nothing to do with the pop-symphonic amalgam of the Texas cultish choral, it certainly translates the same inspiration and message of hope, that cannot be reached without a fight.
The Southern California alternative rock-punk quartet Safe Haven delivers an album filled with ascending rock anthems, which seem to aim at something bigger than the human condition.
With buoyant guitars, a punk-rock dynamism and some shout-your-lungs-out but melodious vocals, the songs never cease to carry uplifting messages. Take the opener ‘The Traveling Salesmen’ and its crafted rock guitars with a slight Tex-Mex twist of the beginning, it soon becomes an empowering anthem, just like the title track of the album, ‘Chasing the Sun’, whose melancholic start soon morphs into a soaring chorus, sung as if everyone’s life was depending on it, ‘And we’ll say we were young and full of hope/ And we never really did what we’re told/ And we’ll say we were dumb and all alone/But we’re still chasing the sun’.
The efficient and punchy ‘Go’ and its propulsive yelled-‘Goooo’ hook, could function as a perfect motivation song if you needed one – it even comes with crowd clapping at the end – and even though ‘Blind’ rocks harder and calls to desperation, it emotionally and meaning-wise goes in the same direction. ‘My Recession’ is the only break from this full and furious sound, with much more restrained vocals and an acoustic instrumentation, but it is just another way to connect and deliver emotion.
And emotion could be the key word to describe the album, as there is a lot of it throughout the 11 tracks, served by simple lyrics, and Gil Sandoval’s expressive and clear delivery. The rest of the cast consists of his two brothers, Dan Sandoval on drums, Mani Sandoval on lead guitar, as well as friend Josh Ledezma on guitar.
In fact the whole album seems to be a variation around the same theme of hope and aspiration, with some darker moments and the use of rocking guitars to create an open-arms sound that wants to reach the sky, or even the sun. ‘Chasing the Sun’ could well be a concept album if albums still exited in this digital era.
Anyway, the whole thing sounds as if these guys had put everything they had into it, especially their most life-saving dreams and hopes. If ‘Chasing the Sun’ will only be out August 28, the band has just released a lyric video of the titled song. Watch it below!