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“Hello?” – A Review of The City Calls

February 23, 2012

Some of you may know that up and coming Southampton pop-punkers The City Calls have been on tour recently in support of their new release. If you haven’t seen them, then unfortunately you’ve missed them for now, but if you have, then I reckon you’ve had quite the treat.

Made up of Lucas Hardy’s vocals, Scott Perry and Darren Ledwich on guitar, bassist Chris Aldridge and drummer John Plummer, The City Calls have been bubbling about the surface of the pop-punk scene since their first single ‘Take Me Home (Kiss and Tell)” was released in summer 2009. They’ve been touring fairly constantly since then and have played such prestigious events as the 40th anniversary Glastonbury festival and student festival Beach Break Live. 2012 so far has seen them release their first mini-album, “A Spark to Ignite” and, you could say, has ignited the band’s spark in the public eye and gotten them the attention they so richly deserve.

The City Calls have been described as “a raw version of You Me At Six, Paramore and New Found Glory“. Based on the lead single from “A Spark to Ignite”, ‘Meet in the Middle’ (above), I’d say that actually, The City Calls are looking to be in much better shape than the bands they’re held up against. They distinctly have the “fresh meat” advantage – those bands are getting a bit old and tired, frankly, and The City Calls have all the exuberance of youth that makes a band exciting to listen to, to see live and to follow as they grow. Lucas Hardy’s vocals are clear, tuneful and empassioned and, backed up by some beautiful harmonies from the combined instrumental talents of Perry, Ledwich, Aldridge and Plummer, make for the liveliest and most musical listening experience I’ve had since New Found Glory released “Not Without a Fight”. The lyrics, of ‘Meet in the Middle’ at least, are a little bit curiously stilted in places, but this is something that is bound to improve as the band mature and become more practiced at song-writing and refining the poetry of their lyrics to a fine point. And that is only a very minor criticism. Based on Hardy’s vocals and the way they are just so compatible with the instrumental, I could listen to this band for hours on end.

Speaking of which, you can buy “A Spark to Ignite” from iTunes for the pretty reasonable price of just £4.74, should you feel so inclined. If you want to see them live, well, you’ll have to wait till next time, but judging by how often these guys are out and about, it won’t be long before we see them again.

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