Growing up in the Deep South there are some things that are unavoidable - Country music and the bible. (NASCAR is in there too but it's irrelevant here unless talking about people going in circles at a high rate of speed).
Great Country songs and bible stories each carry fundamental truths. In the Book of Genesis there is the story of Cain and Abel, a classic tale of sibling rivalry with deadly consequences - fratricide. God accepted Abel's sacrifice but not Cain's. Cain's jealousy consumed him and he slew his brother. As a result, Cain was banished to a land East of Eden (also the title of a great John Steinbeck novel). When vocalist Jared Weeks Googled the "Cain & Abel story" the line, "there was no saving Abel," jumped out at him.
A chance '04 meeting between Weeks and guitarist Jason Null, at a mutual friend's house in Corinth, MS, led the two to start writing together. Over time guitarist Scott Bartlett, bassist Eric Taylor, and drummer Blake Dixon joined Saving Abel as the group recorded a series of demos which they gave or tossed (onstage) to visiting bands in hopes of attracting attention. One such case was a Breaking Benjamin/3 Doors Down concert. "I really doubt that [3DD's frontman] Brad Arnold . . . or the guys from Breaking Benjamin took the CDs home with them," said Weeks. "But I'm pretty sure the stagehands got hold of some good music." Nice marketing - just get the music out there.
Often a group has a single song that opens doors. For Saving Abel it was "Addicted." At the time the song came into being, Weeks' day job was really a night one - graveyard shift at a hospital. It was in those dead hours, between drawing blood samples, that Weeks formulated the lyrics and wrote them down on whatever was available. Some old geezer probably got his prescription denied because he turned it in with the Weeks penned words: "I'm so addicted to all the things you do." Or a little old lady got rushed into surgery when a med intern read the patient's chart and saw Weeks' lyrics: "All the sounds you make, with every breathe, it's unlike anything."
Saving Abel recorded an EP that didn't do much until almost a year later when it fell into the hands of Virgin Records' A&R consultants. They moved it up the food chain and Virgin sent one of their heavy hitters to check out the group's show in Jackson, TN, of all places. Well, it all connected. The group's self-titled debut was released in '08 and "Addicted" cracked the Top 5 on the Mainstream Rock Chart.
Saving Abel hit a rough patch on their Class of 2009 tour when Weeks was hospitalized due to the flu and diabetic shock. A week's worth of shows were cancelled. Out of the hospital, the frontman had an insulin pump inserted during the band's time off.
On 03/16/09, the quintet's major label debut was certified gold by the RIAA, just a year and five days after its release. It sold over 382,443 copies and peaked at #49 on the Billboard 200.
After that success, the band set their sites higher for their sophomore album, "Miss America." "We are creating the new Southern Rock," said Bartlett. "Not to say we are pioneers, but it is very exciting."
"We are evolving into our own as a band, and picking up where 'Addicted' left off," added Null.
"The second album is definitely going to bring more of an in-depth Southern Rock sound, and it is going to show more of who we are as a band," concluded Weeks. "Miss America" dropped in June, '10.
The set featured three singles. "Stupid Girl (Only In Hollywood) peaked at #7 but second single "Sex Is Good" went to #1. The title track was the third single.
For "Bringing Down The Giant," the group's third studio effort, they led with the title track.
While on tour promoting the '12 release Saving Abel performed in Waterloo, Iowa to raise funds for the creation of Angel's Park in Evansdale to remember Elizabeth Collins, and Lyric Cook who vanished in July '12, and were found dead the following in December.
Returning to the studio, the EP "Cracking The Safe," featuring the single "Mystify," dropped in August of '13. "We wanted to say to our fans, here are some songs that we really love and we don't want you guys to have to wait long for music," said Weeks at the time. But an extended wait seemed in the cards.
On 12/26/13, Weeks announced that he had left the group to pursue a solo career and that Trash The Brand frontman Scott Austin had been selected to replace him.
Prior to the official release of "Blood Stained Revolution," Saving Abel's fourth studio album but their first with Austin, the group made the set available for digital purchase with the band donating 10% of the revenue to veterans charities.
The album was issued through the band's Tennessippi Whiskey Records.
2008 Saving Abel
2009 Miss America
2012 Bringing Down The Giant
2014 Blood Stained Revolution
Like 3 Doors Down and Stereoside, Saving Abel is one of several post-Grunge/Hard Rock bands rooted in the Deep South. In addition, the similarities (imitation?) between Saving Abel and Stereoside are fairly pronounced. First, the cover of Saving Abel's self-titled debut (a girl in jeans with her back to the camera) bears more than a passing resemblance to Stereoside's '07 album "So Long" (the backside of two girls in jeans). In addition, Stereoside recorded a song called "Tattoo." Saving Abel did "New Tattoo," which, oddly enough, is one of their better tracks.
The group's forays into Country are forgettable with the exception of "You Make Me Sick," which is simply nasty fun.