It took six years and two EPs for upcoming Pop Punk frontrunners I Call Fives to put out a full-length record. The experiences and lessons they have acquired along their journey have culminated into an eponymous LP that epitomizes their potential and leaves room for greater improvement.
When it comes to debut Pop Punk LPs, I Call Fives do them the right way. Lyrically, the album is written on a similar premise as Fall Out Boy’s Take This To Your Grave and The Story So Far’s Under Soil And Dirt. Late Nights introduces the album with the lyrics “Not moving forward/Looks like I’m just missing you again", a thumping drumbeat, and a bouncy chorus that repeatedly confesses, “I never wanna see you again!”. Backup Plan will undoubtedly be added to the list of favorable ICF jams, next to Elevator Music (Bad Advice EP) and My Last Mistake (First Things First EP), with its energizing and relatable whiny chorus (But I don’t think that I can stand knowing I was a backup plan).
Guitarists Mike Joffe and Chris Mclelland succeed in experimenting with different ways to use the same popular hooks that come with playing in a band in the Pop Punk genre. The both of them use almost identical guitar rhythms in the same key as Backup Plan slides into The Fall Guy, a clever inkling that adds to the album’s overall feeling of incessant vigor and energy. The racing drum rhythms of Enemy (a 42-second jam parallel to blink-182’s more noteworthy tunes) and Regrets And Setbacks keep the record moving after some repetitive tracks, like Obvious and Two Sides To Every Story, dig the album into a hole.
The album’s anchor, Stuck In ’03, essentially summarizes every substantial aspect the band has to offer. The first line starts with, “I was listening to Take This To Your Grave...” which is apparently vocalist Jeff Todd’s go-to inspiration for the album. The bouncy drum rhythms and sliding actions of the guitars never cease even for a single beat. Heartbroken and pity-inducing lyrics like “So finally I’m starting to see how little you think of me, and it hurts", and the repetitive chanting of “You know you’re so wrong!” are intertwined with the verses and chorus in a way that forces the listener to keep the track on “Repeat” for an extended period of time until they become dizzy from bobbing their head too much. If you have only have three minutes to spare, listen to this track at least.
This album is the release that I Call Fives and their sea of dedicated fans have been longing to be recorded. The Washington Township, New Jersey-based quintet does not disappoint in delivering catchy and honest tunes to their existing songbook. In addition to the album’s release, I Call Fives has an upcoming sixteen-show-long leg on the Vans Warped Tour and their own string of North American tour dates fast approaching. From the looks of it, I Call Fives will be soon included on the list of the best Pop Punk groups to watch out for.
Written by Melissa Jones