Save Face – Merci

Save Face is the band from New Jersey that the emo scene has been missing. With just one previous EP under their belt, the quartet that includes frontman Tyler Povanda, guitarist Phil McGarry, bassist Chris Aveta and drummer Chris Flannery have created an album that Jimmy Eat World and Taking Back Sunday would be proud of. 

Just to say, if Save Face are trying to revive the emo scene they have done it with Merci. The album, out on Epitaph, is a concept album focusing on heartache for the most part, but it delivers the catchy choruses and snappy anthems that make it so likeable. Where the debut lacked a little in substance, Merci makes up for that with bold tracks and theatrical emotions—intriguing listeners.

Fourteen tracks may seem overwhelming for a debut album, but these songs are short and sweet and the band really knew how to chose the right tracks embracing quality top tracks. ‘Bad’ comes in after the self-title interlude with soft and subtle vocals that grow into a gritty chant in the chorus. A Nirvana influence is clear in this song and is an awesome single. ‘Heartache’ brings in the nostalgic grunge of the good ol’ emo days with its slow emo-pop vibes.

Tyler Povanda is reminiscent of a young Adam Lazarra, with his dynamic screams in ‘Jonesin’ and ‘Plans’. Those songs are crafty and slick. It’s obvious throughout the album how easy it is to fall in love with Povanda’s vocals— and the title-track is an example of his acute growls that transition to harmony so smoothly.

The composition of ‘Pour’ starts off calmly with acoustic elements—giving the debut a softer balance. ‘Nothin’’ is about everything you once loved being gone and this newfound emptiness being your new reality. The song’s slow vibes transcends into this groove that will have you swaying along with the beating drums and steady guitar work.

The guitar lick in ‘Reds’ showcases an insistent rhythm that explodes in the bridge with a drum fill that is made to make you jump—one of the shorter tracks on the album but one of the best. And, what’s an emo album without a love song? ‘Love’ is a new heartbreak anthem, as ‘Cute Without The E’ once was, and the album ends with the slow and anti-climatic jam, ‘Yours’.

Save Face gave a simpler approach to this album but did it eloquently well—and potential for further growth is definitely there. Povanda commented about writing the album as “very intimidating and ambitious, but it’s also my statement as an artist.” Merci is a statement that works—and launches a new generation of great emo efforts.



Save Face stream Merci in full via Bandcamp on Wednesday, July 11th and listeners will have the opportunity to state how much they want to pay for the album. Proceeds from Wednesday’s sales will go to The Trevor Project—the American non-profit organization that focuses on suicide prevention for the LGBTQ community.