Houston Calls

The End Of An Error...

Written by: PP on 08/12/2008 21:54:51

Houston Calls are one of those emo-twinged pop punk bands that I've been meaning to check out for ages because their previous albums have garnered quite a bit of buzz within the scene. Their new album "The End Of An Error..." gave me the perfect excuse to do so, and here I am, pretending to know more about the band than you probably already do. But lets be honest here, you just want to hear my opinion to confirm your initial thoughts on the album, so here goes.

So on "The End Of An Error", Houston Calls have two gears in total: one where they sound like Punchline's "Ghostie" (or do Punchline sound like them? I'm confused), where the vocalist has just enough teenage angst in his voice to make the songs stand out, and a second one where their vocalist sounds exactly like all the other identikit pop punk band vocalists attempting to copy each other. Or they were mostly copying Cartel's and The Academy Is...'s debut albums, but after those bands started sucking, the bands started copying each other instead. Go figure.

As such, the songs where Houston Calls impress, they do so thoroughly. "Modest Manifesto" sounds just like any Punchline track from "Just Say Yes", but it also possesses a monster of a chorus sure to grab your attention from the first listen. "Things Are Happening" also features the same angstful vocals with just the right amount of whine to sound good - any more and the cup would spill over and the vocalist would overdo it like the Hawthorne Heights vocalist (who, to his credit, actually does it really well). "I Fancy Abroad" has some similarities to Spitalfield's early material, with a little bit more speed than on the other tracks making it the 'punkest' track on this record.

But it seems that Houston Calls' engine can't hold out being on the highest gear for more than about half of the album (or more like for more than one song in a row), because for every great song on the album, there's also an average and/or a mediocre one. "Life Won't Wait" has a Brandtson style disco beat which is just SO overdone these days that it simply drowns in the gray mass, and "A Shot In The Dark" sees the band sounding a little like Hellogoodbye on that stupid "Touchdown Turnaround" song - it's just too childish for anyone over the age of 17 to like. Typical to bands like this, "The End Of An Error..." of course also has a cheesy ballad, and as is ALWAYS the case when placing it in the middle of the album, it ends up being the track you just skip time and time again. It also seems like Houston Calls didn't learn the lesson that Yellowcard did on the mediocre "Lights And Sounds", because "Behind The Gun" could've been a bonus track on that album.

So what should you think of this album overall? I'm not so sure. It has it's great moments where I'm ready to hop onto the modern pop punk bandwagon once again, but it also has way too many weaknesses where the band falls short of impressing. "The End Of An Error..."? I guess I could finish off with a funny joke referring to the emo-twinkled pop punk scene in general, but I've learned to like quite a few acts in the genre, so I won't. But I'll let you have your fun anyway.


Download: Modest Manifesto, Things Are Happening
For the fans of: Punchline, Yellowcard, Cartel, Hellogoodbye
Listen: Myspace

Release date 14.10.2008
Drive-Thru Records

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