Hostage Calm – Please Remain Calm
Record Label: Run For Cover Records
Release Date: October 9th, 2012
Originality is hard to find these days. That’s an understatement, if anything; it’s really hard to find a band who truly is unique, and stands out from every other band in their respective genre, or just in music as a whole. Punk band Hostage Calm is one of those bands that are very different. They’re not different in a bad way, either, but they’re different in the best way possible. When I spun the band’s new record Please Remain Calm, which is out now on Run For Cover Records, it was unlike I had ever heard before. The only band these guys remind me of is British punk band Sharks. They’re from different sides of the world for Hostage Calm is from the States, while Sharks are from England. Regardless, they both have a modern, yet retro sound. Both bands make me think of “classic” bands, such as the Clash, Ramones, and Sex Pistols, among others. On the other hand, they also have a very modern sound, like that of their peers, mainly pop-punk/punk bands. Hostage Calm goes a step further, and has a bit of an indie-punk sound as well, specifically on a few tracks that I will mention later. Regardless, these bands are very hard to come by, and Hostage Calm is a band that any fan of pop-punk/punk should listen to.
Please Remain Calm opens with the song “On Both Eyes,” and it’s a great opening track. The retro sound is immediately apparent on the first few opening notes. It’s not the best track on the record, but that’s a bit of understatement, because every song is great on its own. Second track “Don’t Die On Me Now” is another great track, and it’s a bit shorter at about 2-and-a-half minutes. It’s a more “punk” track, but absolutely fantastic as well. What I really like about this band is how they essentially are punk but with pop sensibility. Not quite pop-punk, but very similar to bands like the Clash, who have the same sound. Third track “Brokenheartland” is yet another great track, and I know I’m repeating myself at this point, but wow, this album is full of nothing but hits. The first tracks are all strong, and completely fantastic. This is also really interesting, because there’s not too much variety on here, but that’s completely okay, because I love this band’s sound. They have a sound all of their own, so why would they need to have any variety. There are a few moments that there is some variety, and fourth track, “Woke Up Next to a Body” is one of those moments. It has an acoustic backbone, and the lyrics are rather strange, but still work, for some odd reason. That’s another thing about them; I like this band’s lyrics a lot. They’re also really unique, and absolutely wonderful.
As the album goes on, every track really hits. There’s nothing negative I have to say, really. I addressed the lack of variety, but that’s already forgivable. If anything, there are a few tracks that do stand out above the rest. Seventh track, “The “M” Word,” is one of those tracks. It’s an acoustic song, and it’s also re-recorded as well. I’ve heard the original track, and I quite enjoyed it, but this one brings a different flavor so to speak. It’s easily my favorite song on the album. The other major highlights for me (despite every track being wonderful, so I would recommend listening to the whole album) are eigth track, “Patriot,” and the last track “The Last Salute.” The former is harmony-driven track, and it’s really awesome. It’s really different, and it really works. It sounds really cool, and an acoustic then electric guitar picks up the tempo towards the very end. The latter has the most interesting instrumentation, actually; it starts off rather slowly, but picks up around the halfway point, becoming much faster. The last 30 seconds have a very interesting guitar riff, and it ends the song (as well as the album on a very nice note).