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Let’s be straight here, if you’re going to confess to being “the new kings of this town” you must have the songs to back up these strong statements. Failing that be from a really small town with no other inhabitants. Sadly however The Calling Card don’t have this formula on ‘Everything You’re Not.’
The album opens with the hilarious 'New Kings of This Town'. As a song it’s alright, but that’s just it; it’s only OK. It’s not setting the stereo on fire kind of stuff. The track (and album) suffers from some awful vocals. It could be the pseudo-American styling that vocalist Benj Squibb has adopted, but in actual fact he cannot sing. That is a hard fact! The song is just weak, it lacks bite.
The album plods along and makes little or no impact. Not even the generic pop-punk song titles can change our interest in this one. There’s even the usual quiet song in the form of 'Lost @ Sea.'It’s painful to listen to, it sounds like Jesse Lacey had a stroke and discovered the diary of a 14 year old. It’s the kind of song people laugh at on YouTube which accidently ends up becoming a massive hit. Perhaps this is part of some cleverly thought out PR campaign? For some bizarre reason this song also benefits from the best production throughout the entire album. The rest of it sounds like it was recorded inside a telephone box stuck inside of the world’s biggest biscuit tin.
After that “token quiet song,” we’re treated to some stock sound effects which open 'Keep The Change.' It veers away from the bad pop-punk which the rest of this album has treated us to and sounds similar to early Thrice. Why there isn’t more of this on the album, we’ll never know. The vocals sound a little bit better on this track and we can just about make it to the end of the song.
As an album this won’t stick out. Sadly there are just too many other great pop-punk bands around, most notably Save Your Breath. Funnily enough they also come from Newport, perhaps it’s them that are the “kings of the town.”
'Everything You’re Not' by The Calling Card is available now.
The Calling Card links: Facebook.
Words by Colin Henderson (@colinah87)