Connecticut five-piece alternative rockers Hostage Calm have released the follow-up to their critically acclaimed debut, ‘Please Remain Calm’, but it’s doubtful that it’ll be reaching the heights of its predecessor. On paper, Hostage Calm sound like an exciting fresh band, mixing “Bruce Springsteen heartland rock, 60s pop melody, 70s punk energy, 80s new wave panache”. On record, they are far from this.
Full of tracks that have the same concept over and over, Hostage Calm attempt to sound like their press release, but fail to match it completely. A lot of the songs seem to fall and blend into one another. The vocals are especially draining and sound boring, they (like the tracks on the album) fall back into the sound, which just doesn’t particuarly stand out. The majority of the tracks have no defining feature, nothing that grabs your attention or makes you want to go back and revisit it.
It’s not like Hostage Calm have made an album that intends to be like this or that they have just made these tracks for the sake of having an album, it’s just that songs aren’t what they should be. The promise from their debut showed they could be a good band, however, they’re just not reaching the heights predicted.
The album on whole just doesn’t stand up. The majority of the songs seem fairly unadventurous and, in a sense, bland. Songs like ‘Woke Up Next To A Body’ and ‘The M Word’ just seem to pass by. Essentially, this album is a lot more filler than killer. It’s good to hear the band finally do something else on mostly a’capella ‘Patriot’, which stands out as a great track. It sounds like emotion is finally into the tracks. Sadly, it’s only one of few highlights on Please Remain Calm.
At heart, ‘Please Remain Calm’ is attempting to be a solid album, but it just doesn’t push any boundaries or take any significant risks. On a whole, a boring and bland effort.
Written by Kieron Chastney