The City Calls are like a woman out of her time – they’ve got the poise and the noise in all the right places, but they don’t quite fit in anymore. They’re without context, without background, just floating in the musical ether.
That doesn’t stop them being decent, though. With the same squeaky-clean sound that put the likes of You Me At Six in the limelight, you would hope that there is still a market for The City Calls. Even without a contemporaneous comparison, the songs are good fun. They’re hook-laden and bouncy, and can probably catch any other pop-punk clichés you throw at them.
Perhaps the similarities to YMAS are a little too defined. I’d hate to see The City Calls written off as a cheap imitation act – it would be an insult to their abilities. Even so, I’d like to see them do something outrageous – at the moment they’re handing their work in late, but not adding in that one outstanding element to forgive all sin.
If you’ve seen the band before now, Truth Of Dare and Kryptonite will be friendly and familiar, while coping well with the loss of energy and adrenaline that comes from being put onto disc.
So, A Spark To Ignite a good listen. The fact still remains that the pop-punk whole has been rounded off, but The City Calls seem content to be a square peg. Fuck it, I’m off to dig another square hole, they deserve as much, and I’m running out of comparisons…
A Spark To Ignite is out now on I Am Mighty Records