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Album Review: Hostage Calm - 'Hostage Calm'

8 September 2010 | 3:27 am | Staff Writer
Originally Appeared In

Worth a listen regardless of your musical background.

Hostage Calm didn’t blow me away with their 2008 record “Lens”, although the record was definitely solid, it just failed grab me like many other releases did. Fast-forward two years and the band has turned away from melodic hardcore influenced riffs and aggression, instead trying their hand at more of a pop and indie approach to things.

When I heard a few select tracks from this record before its release date I was somewhat confused and unimpressed, yet still intrigued at the same time. After hearing the album countless times as a whole, my opinion has changed quite drastically.

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The band still gives their hardcore roots a nod of the head at times, especially during the second half of “Rebel Fatigues”, which features a great riff that could be easily slotted into any current melodic hardcore record. The song also features some of the passion and energy that the band had become renowned for on their previous records.

Vocalist Chris Martin (No, not that idiot from Coldplay) has written a very solid set of lyrics for this record. The song that sticks out the most in my mind in this scenario is the infectious “Ballots/Stones”. Written about the Californian Proposition 8 protests for the marriage of same sex couples, the chorus line of “Did you cast a ballot or a stone” is superb. Martin’s voice may not be one of the strongest voices you will hear all year, but the suave melodies he produces have a unique relaxed quality and they are delivered with a great deal of integrity.

The instrumentation on this record is very fascinating, which includes the likes of tambourines, piano accompanients, and jangly acoustic guitars. You wouldn’t have expected to hear some of these sounds judging by the bands previous records.

One of my only gripes with this record is the opening riff in “Wither On The Vine”. It sounds like it could be the opening riff to one of those songs Santana and Chad Kroeger release every few years, and I just cant stand it. As soon as that riff has completed the song is quite good, it’s just a shame it has to start off in such an uninviting matter.

The more upbeat and punk influenced songs in “A Mistrust Earned”, “Rebel Fatigues”, “Affadavit” and “Jerry Rumpsringer” are the most appealing to my musical tastes, but there is enough variety on this record to suite some of the most peculiar of music taste.

This record is one of those records where it is best if you just get your hands on a copy of it (I know you will download it) and make your own personal judgment after a few listens. No amount of shit talking that I can produce about this record will help you get a full understanding of this band without hearing them for yourself.

Hostage Calm has crafted one of the most interesting and creative albums you will hear all year. Although it may take a few listens, the album becomes a real gem the more times that you listen to it.

1. A Mistrust Earned

2. Rebel Fatigues

3. Affidavit

4. Where The Waters Call Home

5. Ballots/Stones

6. Marine Transgressions

7. Young Professionals

8. Overstayed

9. Wither On The Vine

10. Victory Lap

11. Jerry Rumspringer

12. War On A Feeling