I Call Fives

Bad Advice EP

Written by: DR on 20/06/2010 16:48:38

It could be said that there are two different types of "pop punk". One is the disgustingly generic joke of a genre that's all fringes, that is no more worthy of the term "punk" than Disney; the other is a fusion of pop, with actual punk, and hardcore, ergo terms like "popcore". The former has been done to the point that it's practically done for, rendering it barely even worth listening to anymore (in my opinion); the latter is the opposite of that genre. Because of bands like The Wonder Years, the momentum the popularity carries seems only to be getting greater.

"Bad Advice", I Call Fives' debut EP on No Sleep Records, occupies the grey territory in between those two styles. It features elements of the punk-y side: it's high tempo, utilises fast fretboard work, gang shouts, duel-vocals with the more aggressive fuelled used more sporadically; yet, it's lively and optimistic in nature throughout all six tracks, with a nice polish rendering it borderline radio-friendly. Jeff Todd's vocals are infectious, to the point where the listener is forced to admire how upbeat his vocals sound in songs such as "Hand Me Down Luck", a song about how things for him aren't looking up: "I wouldn't wish my luck on anybody else / And I've been trying to change for three years / But every time I attempt, things go to hell / ... Every chance I get, I fail." A less charismatic vocalist wouldn't be able to pull off the juxtaposition of cheery vocals belting out angry lyrics in "Elevator Music": "I hope this song is the elevator music on your way to hell" but Todd does confidently. Driving drums underneath the pounding and bouncy guitars is a strong characteristic of this EP, bringing hints of an attitude with them. "Easy to Say States Away" is the least "punky" of the tracks, saved by a strong chorus, meaning it could be the band's lead single. The youthful, fist-pumper "Try Hard To Remember" employs an acoustic bridge to much effect, while "Take The Fall" evolves from an acoustic ballad into a rock monster of sing along epic-ness.

Recently, The Wonder Years left No Sleep Records, resulting in a pop punk/core void in the label's roster. I'm not going to claim I Call Fives could fill that void just yet, because, despite a positive start to their No Sleep career, they are still short of the bar that TWY set. Nevertheless, there's enough evidence and promise to be found on "Bad Advice" that suggests it surely won't be long before the name I Call Fives is a sizeable one in this genre.


Download: Elevator Music, Try Hard To Remember, Take The Fall
For The Fans of: This Time Next Year, Man Overboard, The Wonder Years
Listen: Myspace

Release Date 25.05.2010
No Sleep Records

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