The City Calls

A Spark To Ignite EP

Written by: TL on 04/01/2012 01:01:18

Next in the line of highly delayed reviews is "A Spark To Ignite EP" by British pop-punk quintet The City Calls, whose debut EP I remember reviewing a while ago, yet without remembering anything of it in particular, besides it being a fairly average and low-level entry into the battle of becoming the next American-style, You Me At Six-ish pop-rock hotshots in the British scene. Fortunately, the year between the two EP's has made as much of a difference as one could have hoped, and now it sounds much more like The City Calls are ready to close in on the competition.

Don't get me wrong, these lads are still pop-punk, noticeably of the very polished and shameless kind, but this whole EP is just a vast improvement in both sound, production value and songwriting. It's still sunny music up-beat tunes about broken hearts, entirely in the vein of You Me At Six and their peers and inspirations, but both singing, melodies, dynamics and choruses have gotten stronger since the last time around. The foremost example is in my opinion the closing track "Meet In The Middle" (which also supplies the lyrics that gives the EP its name", which is noteworthy for an always effective break into falsetto in the chorus, as well as some brief use of a guitar effect that sounds like it would be more at home on a post-rock record.

It's not that the other five songs on offer are far behind though. "Truth Or Dare" is probably the strongest, with good hooks in both the chorus and middle eight, but both opener "Get Away" and "Kryptonite" manage to also get a good thing going by the later section. Overall it's also nice to see that even though The City Calls want to keep things relatively polished and bittersweet, they seem to be more interested in exploring a more anthemic direction than say, staying totally lightweight like we've come to expect from All Time Low for instance. All things considered "A Spark To Ignite" is a delightful ran of sunlight and a definite step in the right direction for The City Calls, whom I'm now much more likely to think of as a band to keep an eye on.

Download: Meet In The Middle, Truth Or Dare, Kryptonite
For The Fans Of: You Me At Six, There For Tomorrow, All Time Low, Saving Aimee
Listen: facebook.com/TheCityCalls

Release Date 12.08.2011
I Am Mighty Records

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