The guys from Call It Home are coming home to release their new album, “Better Days“. The group describe themselves as a band that blends together the aggression and ferocity of a metalcore band and the catchy hooks of a pop artist and they’re definitely not wrong on that front.
The album has a lot going for it. First of all, the ambition behind taking Hardcore/Metalcore music and Pop Punk music, two genres that are so different in many ways and blending them in such a seamless way, a way that has been done similarly before but not executed as well. There’s a lot of aggression and melody in this stark fusion, so let’s get right into it.
First up is Lights Out, it begins with that aforementioned metalcore ferocity by letting out powerful screamed vocals. The flurry of bass, drums and guitar follow. The contrast between the pop and hardcore elements is very apparent, it’s a little bit janky at first but it’s definitely interesting. Sounding comparable to both Bring Me The Horizon and All Time Low in the same song is certainly some kind of feat.
Lanterns begins with an intro that really hammers home the blend of metalcore and pop-punk, the dynamic changes in vocals styles is different from that of previous acts that have done the same thing, it doesn’t sound like two singers singing in tandem, it really sounds like a blend of styles. The piano and soft guitar riffs complete this song as well.
The third song, Back To Reality begins with a really nice soft piano riff that actually ushers in the drums and guitar. The vocals join the instrumentals with a soft melodic verse that also features screams.
Fourth song, Driftwood which features Landon Tewers from The Plot In You begins with a kind of 2011 metalcore vibe, the guitars are heavy and distorted, the bass and drums hit hard and it has that glitchy, cd skipping kind of electronic sound effects. This song also boasts some quite low growling vocals.
Lock and Key comes up next and starts with a foreboding few notes before a very heavy verse with awesomely catchy drums play out into a fast-paced pop punk chorus introduced with soft chimes and piano.
The next song, Arrogance, embraces the aggressive side of the album by bombarding the listener with the heaviest instrumentals and least pop elements in the album.
Seventh out of ten, Parasite unfortunately begins very similarly to how Arrogance and Driftwood does, a bit generic, this song and at this point in the album is where my only critique could come into play, I feel like it loses its sense of variety and uniqueness as a few of the songs become hard to distinguish and a bit plain. This song itself isn’t bad, it just feels a little stale back to back with similar songs and even more so compared to the earlier songs like Lanterns, Lights Out and Back To Reality.
Deserter, another song with a featured artist, this time Jayden Panesso of Sylar. The song begins, similarly to the last, but this time the extreme aggressive sound pays off, as it’s drum pattern and bass riffs really carry it home and make it feel full, the clean chorus works nicely too as it carries the tempo.
Second to last song and third to have a featured artist, Michael Swank of Myka Relocate accompanies the band in Lost Cause, the song opens nicely with a really fresh feeling melody carried by soft piano and hammered home with rest of the instrumentals. This song is the return to the sound earlier in the album, returning to the unique and satisfying balance of pop punk and hardcore.
Finally we come to The Shallow End, it’s a heavy aggression rich song, that then hits the listener with of course the softly sung pop punk chorus, but before that a breakdown which there isn’t much of on this album and by extension helps the album close out with an impact. There’s an eerie piano playing behind this song that adds a lot.