With a hefty dollop of neo-80’s synth blowing up speakers from the onset, Save Yourself immediately hits home as a huge power ballad.
But there’s something deeper hidden underneath. As Murderers themselves describe it, it’s something straight out of a coming of age drama of the era, but one with some dark punchiness to it. And that description stands true, with the off-key sounds and heavy guitar reverb.
It’s intensity at its finest. The slow brooding atmosphere that feels like wading through treacle, set up perfectly with the powerful synth tones and huge amounts of backing noise. With a surround sound setup, there’s a clear back and forth as sounds swell all around like a tumultuous ocean. In particular there’s a tone that continually oscillates back and forth with a distinct tone.
The guitar and drums really begin to pick up and show that power ballad oomf in the latter half. Huge bombastic drumbeats echo in a clever effect that fades them off with each beat. The guitar stays to a very subtle, deep, borderline monotone sound. Strumming heavily as part of the rhythm, building the already packed atmosphere into a wall of sound.
But like any song of this ilk, it’s lead by a vocal performance to match the power of the instruments backing it all up. Murderers frontman belts out an incredible performance that is slightly understated in its delivery. It’s never a wailing, nor shouting, rather a very reserved and gentle lullaby by way of deep and calming tones. It can be a little lost at times in all encompassing musical track, but just manages to stay the course and gift the listener with a dark and brooding message. The lyrics themselves are much more in line with Murderers post-punk influence as they explore a darker theme than the track would have you believe when looked at in a vacuum.
Murderers deliver something that appears gentle on the surface, but instead of keeping something smooth and relaxing, there’s layers of gentle, depressive, and melancholy all wrapped up in a strong package.