Wednesday, August 01, 2007

who you gonna call?

Broadway Calls
"Broadway Calls"
(State of Mind)

Back in the summer of 2006, I called Oregon's Broadway Calls the Rookie of the Year. Their debut EP, "Call the Medic, We're Begging Please" was an unapologetically great pop-punk record. Well, the onslaught of melody continues on to their proper self-titled full-length.

Crammed with introverted songs about relationships (mostly), touring and politics, "Broadway Calls" is nothing new, but what distinguishes a band like this from other terrible bands of similar ilk (Cute Is What We Aim For, Daphne Loves Derby, etc.) is how undeniably catchy and unpretentious these songs are. The record begins with "Call It Off," which may be one of the best opening tracks on any album. The track itself is heavy on the palm-muting, but once singer Ty Vaughn hits the "Whoa" part, you know you'll find yourself singing this jam in a few minutes.

"Suffer the Kids" is the kind of song that finds a justifiable cause to compare Broadway Calls to Jawbreaker. An anthem about apathy (no doubt amongst the eems and Hot Topic kids), the track is a reminder that not all bands of this persuasion have to embrace a shallow existence.

The only stumble is when the band takes a stab at The Smiths' "A Rush, a Push and the Land Is Ours," which is relatively unchanged, yet when paired with Vaughn's throat-y vocal style, sounds suspiciously like an Against Me song. Then again, I'm not real big on anybody else other than Morrissey doing Smiths songs.

I haven't really been into any pop-punk bands in a while, but I'll put my money on Broadway Calls, whose debut is both of substance and hooks. So while most kids will be more than happy wearing $30 Fall Out Boy shirts and having a convoluted sense of community, Broadway Calls is playing basements and giving you the real deal Hollyfield.

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