It’s been seven years since Oregon’s Broadway Calls released their last album, ‘Comfort/Distraction’, but now the trio are back armed with its follow-up, ‘Sad In The City’.
Given the band’s now 15-year long career, it’s no surprise that they’ve opted to switch up the tone slightly this time around. Although still fundamentally a pop-punk band, here there’s a real sense of growth, largely surrounding more serious themes concentrating heavily on the current state of the world.
Opener ‘Never Take Us Alive’ leaves no time at delving straight into the subject at hand with its opening line, “If my country collapses / Can I sleep on your couch? / Think I’m hyperbolic? / Wish I was fucking around”, mixing up the band’s natural humorous side with the apocalyptic theme that runs seamlessly throughout this 11-track offering.
‘Radiophobia’ focuses on fears that are drilled into us from a young age, as vocalist Ty Vaughn opens up about his own phobia of radiation after being born and raised in a town with an active nuclear power plant, and how this fear has never left him creating a personal, angst infused track.
Although ‘Sad In The City’ does at times feel extremely grown up, there are still lighter moments offering a glimmer of hope encapsulated into the album’s love songs. ‘Meet Me On The Moon’ paints a wonderfully romantic scene, a credit to the band’s song writing talents, whilst ‘There’s A Glow’ tip-toes in an almost indie-pop vibe in a much mellower offering in which you’ll soon find yourself singing along to its catchy chorus in no time.
Broadway Calls push themselves away from the conventional side of pop-punk, and rather successfully stick to the heart of the genre’s roots. Instead of creating perfectly polished tracks, they opt for a much grittier punk sound. Both ‘Take Me Down’ and ‘You Gotta Know’ feel nostalgic of an early 90s Green Day sound with their loud, anthemic songs that will be a sure hit at live shows.
The standout tracks on offer are unusually placed as the final two tracks on the album. ‘Big Mouth’ perfectly sums up the whole feel of the record with its contagiously catchy chorus “I’ve got a big mouth and it’s gets me into trouble”, whereas ‘Went Dyin” is unlike any other track on the record. It adopts a more contemporary pop-punk style with its cleaner guitar riffs and overall polished sound, which works incredibly as the final song, lingering in your head hours after listening.
It’s safe to say that ‘Sad In The City’ is Broadway Calls‘ most impressive album to date. Taking some time out to concentrate on their personal lives seems to have worked, as they have well and truly come back onto the scene with a bang. We can only hope that we won’t have to wait quite as long for their next release.