Broadway Calls - Good Views, Bad News
Record Label: Sideone Dummy Records
Release Date: August 18, 2009
This week, in my 8:30 A.M. Social Problems class, we discussed Barack Obama's healthcare plan. The professor started off by saying something like, "Obama's healthcare plan has been under constant scrutiny since it was introduced...." while all I heard was "We aren't having a participation grade today so you can go back to sleep, Thomas..." Anyways, when I was walking back to my dorm that day, I turned on my iPod and was searching through the Recently Added playlist, trying to put a dent in the new music that I hadn't gotten a chance to listen to yet. I remembered receiving Broadway Calls' Good Views, Bad News as an early birthday gift so I put it on and on the entire fifteen minute walk back to my dorm, I enjoyed solid pop-punk that was written, recorded, and produced exactly how pop-punk should be.
That genre, pop-punk, has been under intense scrutiny lately. Once full of life and budding with talented musicians, it began to regress greatly into the abyss of some critics' minds and the minds of longtime fans. In my own mind, there were always a handful of bands that kept making the music that people wanted to hear, that worked hard on tour, were true to their fans; they did all the things good bands do. But those bands started to get outnumbered by bands compromised of dudes with swooping haircuts, too-deep V-necks, and skin-tight neon pants. That genre, pop punk, was headed for the toilet bowl of musical relevance, slated to land right next to Nickelback, disco, and hair metal. That genre, pop punk, once bound for glory, was about to be brought to its knees by the needs of certain bands to cash in on certain fads and the hearts and panties of underage teenage girls. Well, Broadway Calls wouldn't be caught dead in your damn neon pants.
Broadway Calls know what they are doing. On their Sideone Dummy Records debut, the three-piece from Oregon show considerable development from their last, self-titled effort. As a collective unit, they have found their own groove and each member knows what their role is among the grander scheme of things. Individually, there is a marked improvement in the instrumentation found on their self-titled effort, and most obvious is lead singer Ty Vaughn's increased vocal range. With an album full of rhythmic and catchy hooks, sing-along choruses, and fist-pumping gang vocals, Broadway Calls should explode onto the scene as the next chapter in the story that New Found Glory seem to have started a decade ago. They are ready to put the weight of the genre onto their shoulders, because what they have here, whether they realize it or not, is one of the best pop-punk albums of the year. Good Views, Bad News stands next to New Found Glory's Not Without a Fight, Set Your Goals' This Will Be the Death of Us, and perhaps The Swellers' Ups and Downsizing as the only real contenders for pop-punk's album of the year title.
Album opener "Midnight Hour" is an excellent, fast-paced start to the album. It's a bit of an angsty number with truthful lyrics; "But I don't have that passion / Just an ego and moderate talent / Please understand, I know nothing of being a great man / And I'm awake, and this thing inside just let me know it never died / And I'm awake, and I feel it now. My summer soul was hiding out / I was stuck in the midnight hour." Before filling the enjoy-life-while-you're-young quota that all great pop-punk albums have to reach, Broadway Calls explore two serious topics in "Be All That You Can't Be" and "Election Night". A careful listen into these two tracks reveals the former as an anthem addressing the war overseas and the latter as an insight into the band's exuberance over our newly elected President. After that quick pit stop, Broadway Calls race ahead by ripping off eight straight tracks of the life of young people, from partying to love to the low points in life. A future classic and a sure fan favorite is "To the Sheets", which ends in phenomenal gang vocals that have to be heard to truly appreciate. A personal favorite of mine is "Tonight is Alive", a track that Vaughn takes from an upbeat drum intro to fist-pumping gang vocals before a sing-along chorus that leaves you thankful for this album three songs before it's over. Closer "At the End" finishes the Bill Stevenson and Jason Livermore - produced record in just the right way, a song that feels more personal than any other on [i]Good Views, Bad News.
The entire record is produced finely by the two men with the intention of sounding huge and epic, and it pulls off the production without ever looking back. As I said before, Broadway Calls have arrived onto the scene with Good Views, Bad News, and if you haven't yet lent this album your ears, you should make a point of doing so before the new year, which will surely see this band develop from 2009 sleepers to 2010 breakouts.
When I suggest this band to my friends I tell them that they sound like Green Day if Green Day was actually good.
Broadway Calls is fantastic.
lol. well i really like green day. theyre one of my favorite bands, and i spent basically all of freshman year of high school listening to american idiot. but i do agree that broadway calls is a very solid band. i like the swellers' stuff more though.
I have this album on vinyl. It is the best pop-punk album I've heard in years. These guys could easily be the 21st century Gorilla Biscuits. The best track off the album is Basement Royalty. I definitely recommend every 12 year-old wannabe emo-punk hot topic should bandage their wrists, wash off their make-up, throw out all their all time low albums and buy this album.