Newport based band The Calling Card have recently released their debut album, Everything You’re Not. Defining themselves as not being part of a current trend, The Calling Card and their music can certainly be classed as original. With enough energy and attitude that could match bands such as You Me At Six, fellow Welsh band The Blackout and many others, they are definitely making an impression.
Having already supported the likes of Ian Watkins, Zebrahead, Attack! Attack! and Alkaline Trio since forming in 2009, they certainly have something to be proud of.
Everything You’re Not combines what this band is all about. It has the perfect blend of punchy rock guitar riffs and some slower more gentle, acoustic numbers which will have something for everyone’s taste. If any comparisons can be made, You Me At Six would spring to mind but even this link is weak. Some songs resemble YMAS’ sound when they first started out such as Don’t Let It Go and Everyone Gets One. This is a sound which will never get old.
The Calling Card balance this heavily rock influenced album with a few acoustic numbers such as Lost @ Sea and Why So Serious. Lost @ Sea is an emotional acoustic song followed by, perhaps the heaviest track on the album, Keep The Change. Why So Serious is a tribute to Heath Ledger despite you doubting if it was in fact a quote from the film. Lead singer and songwriter, Benj Squibbs said: “This is the earliest track written and was written just after Heath Ledger had died. He was someone that seemed to be on the rise in Hollywood and then tragically was cut short. He really was this generations River Pheonix. I think it’s a great tribute to him anyways.”
The Welsh band praise themselves on being different. Lyrically, they say they do not focus on the normal subjects such as girls, love and parties. They say they “…would prefer to quote Friedrich Nietzsche or refer to The West Memphis Three in their tunes.” This can be seen to be true for tracks likes Everyone Gets One which focuses on depression and Weight of the World which is about the lack of confidence people have in the voting system and politicians. Lost @ Sea also has a hard subject matter as it tells the story of someone the lead singer knew who drowned at 13 years old.
By far though, Cross My Heart is the most interesting song on the album. With an Elvis Costella feel to it, Benj Squibbs describes the song as having “more of an angry lyric rather than a depressed sad state”. It has a pop feel to it but sounds a little vintage too. The melodies and rhythm in this song just sound perfect.
The Calling Card sure have produced an original and intriguing album full of ups and downs. There isn’t a track to dislike. Each song has something to offer. The Calling Card don’t claim to be lyrical geniuses and sometimes simple is just what you need.
The Calling Card are Benj Squibbs (vocals/songwriter), Simon Strickland (guitar), Stephen Parry (guitar), Kyle Jones (bass) and Lewys Hobden (drums). Visit their facebook page for more information.