Phoenix Calling

Waves EP

Written by: LF on 18/01/2014 16:44:40

Riding on a wave of alternative rock in the vein of Mallory Knox and Deaf Havana, newcomers Phoenix Calling from the UK are releasing their first EP this year. Alluringly the two singles from the EP are available for free download here, and the EP itself will be as well in a few days time. Starting with a drumshot and an uplifting echo-laced guitar-lead on a moody background, this EP rolls off with the super catchy "Everybody Knows" which is the clear highlight of the four songs. The mood it sets for the EP reminds me very much of Funeral For A Friend's "Hours" album, but this song could have been on any album by any moderately successful alternative rock band and that is maybe my point when I say that it's ultimately very plain. When I listen to it I can't help thinking that I've heard it all before. With the specific brand of depressed lyrics coupled with uplifting hooks and a hard-rocking and urgent guitar-driven sound, everything works as it should but it's just very boring. This goes for all four songs but with slight variations. The intro to "Traces" has a high point in its high fluttering guitars contrasted with the calmer rhythm of the vocals which works superbly but then leads to a pretty bland chorus that's just slightly too similar to the one in the previous song and despite the increased intensity in the urgent guitars, it never manages to pick up again.

Last track "Bring the Roof Down", which is also the debut single, sets a slightly darker and more hopeless mood than the rest of the EP despite its haunting but uplifting background gang vocals, that are actually sung by the members of Deaf Havana, as the two bands apparently met randomly in the studio and hung out while Phoenix Calling were recording. "We Were Young", which comes just before, stands out as the song with the heaviest and slowest guitars, but it has the same problem in its dynamic as "Traces" because those heavier riffs come off as a bit misplaced and thus don't shake things up enough. Just like "Traces" reminds me of the first track, "We Were Young" sounds too similar to "Bring the Roof Down" with the latter clearly being the better one. So essentially this EP feels like Phoenix Calling had written two good songs and then made two others over the same model that are just not as good. It's all well executed but even the best song here has no longevity for me and their sound simply needs more edge to be interesting enough for a higher grade.

Download: Everybody Knows
For The Fans Of: Mallory Knox, Deaf Havana, Funeral For A Friend, Third Eye Blind

Release Date 20.01.2014

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