Broadway Calls - s/t
Fuck, this is good. Like, really pretty damn good. I really didn't want to like this band, kind of based of what I read on the internet about them, and this album art. I expected it to be super poppy and cheesy, and really something that I'd hate. So, a few weeks ago, I saw that they had a video ("Call It Off") on On Demand. I decided to throw it on, and it kind of fit what I'd expected. It was super poppy, and definitely radio-friendly pop punk. But, there whether it was the stage dives, decent band t-shirts (and I'm 99% sure a HWM tattoo!), or underlying Green Day inflection to the vocals, I got the feeling that this was pop punk by fairly legit punk rock kids. It was enough that it made me check out the full length. And I liked it. A lot.
The song "Call it Off" from the video is the first from the record, and the Myspace profile song "Back to Oregon" are two of the first three songs, and are both undeniably good pop songs. But, the rest of the record shows a band with equal footing in radio pop punk and the East Bay circa 1992. This record is full of buzz-saw guitars, a singer who sounds like he's trying to sound semi-British (ala Jawbreaker and Green Day), but with big vocal hooks and choruses. Gang vocals and "whoa-ohs" are all over this record, as are fast tempos and lyrics of growing up, hitting the road (and the inevitable return home), and of course girls and relationships.
While this record is sure to turn off the hardcore and punk purists, I can honestly say that I'm impressed by it. It's a bit long (14 songs, 40+ minutes), but there's enough variety and musicianships, and hooks to fill it up. I'm looking forward to hearing what else these guys come up with, and to checking out their split with Teenage Bottlerocket. Maybe all the teenyboppers that these guys attract will find them as a great springboard into even more legitimate pop punk, like Green Day fans did back with Dookie. And even if they don't, I'd rather have kids watch this video on On Demand than a lot of the crap on there.