Album Review: Hostage Calm – “Hostage Calm”

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Hostage Calmis a band that saw how generic the pop/rock scene was, and got some ideas. With their latest self-titled effort, they’ve released 12 self sufficient songs: each of them being worthy of their own single. They’ve put the word diversity to use by shifting genres, whether it be taking influence from the Latin culture with Wither On The Vine, or the 50’s swing intro that opens and layers Ballots and Stones. Hostage Calm has proven they understand other musical cultures, putting them to use nearly flawlessly on their self titled.

Along with diversity, Hostage Calm also employs a heavy, yet uplifting vibe throughout the album. Heavy power chords matched with octave runs reminding you that pop/rock is the true backdrop of the album. There are, of course, catchy choruses, but they’re deeper than the usual jumpy tempo of most pop punk bands. Where The Waters Call Home exemplifies the deep chorus through its build up . Quickening his palm mutes, the guitarist works towards the chorus from the slow, dramatic verse, building tension and anticipation, and right before the whole thing breaks, the drum sticks roll over the snare, kick and bass drum before exploding into a short, melodic and hook laden chorus. The chorus, rich in harmony and complimentary guitars, holds its own due to the satisfaction it brings after the tension.

The album holds together quite nicely and surprisingly, even past track nine. Jerry Rumspringer (track 11), has the same energy and feel that the beginning of the album holds. It has the quick paced punk pop upstroke strumming with enough breaks and tempo changes to keep your head on straight, yet stays similar in terms of energy, sound, and feel as Affidavit (track 2). Though there are so many genre experiments, Hostage Calm stay in a comfortable pop rock feel throughout the album, keeping everything smooth and connectible. Each song flows nicely from one to the other, and as a whole, the album doesn’t miss a beat.

Hostage Calm may be fairly new, but they have the sound and song writing ability to stick around for years to come. They are chameleon-like, having enjoyable music for  everyone; not just teenybopper teenagers looking for the next Four Year Strong. There is an intelligence in Hostage Calm’s music worth investigating.



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