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Review: The Calls - Garageland


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Debut EPs are usually pretty dire, even if they follow up a double A-side single.

Luckily Leeds lads, The Calls, have avoided this almost inevitable fate with ‘Garageland’, named after the closing track on The Clash’s self-titled.

Note: get used to the sudden changes in pace, the quartet are out to give you waltzer whiplash.

Lathered in a thick grub glam coat, each track digs its heels into the ground on its own merit, they don’t need to teeter on each other to earn their place.

Introducing themselves with frenzied riffs licked with a rock n roll debauchery, ‘On the Stairs’ riles up for a mod showdown. Thick vocals swill a Northern accent and serve up a side of half-arsed cockiness, before being knocked down a peg or two.

Latest single ‘Back in Town’ swaggers with a reggae guitar rhythm. Fast flowing lyricism of everyday life are perked with sudden revs of crashing drums, raucous guitar, and rough vocal harmonies ‘I thought we’d never be the same’, they confess.

As a glorious tribute to the best of the alt 90s, ‘Tales of Lovers and Thieves’ waves the flag for British rock, built on infectious melody and a dirty but flirty bassline.

While ‘What We Left Behind’ would be kindly welcomed by the indie Twitter community, it punches with a teen angst energy. Biting back with half shouting vocals, a cutesy riff and quieter, reflective moments make it a predicted beer strewn crowd favourite.

Recorded and produced by Mickey Dale of Embrace, ‘Garageland’ is a land not too far away, where bins may be overflowing, the kids might have a bit of muck streaked across their faces, and the teenagers at the end of streets might be smoking skinny roll ups.

There’s a feeling of unity across the land, that powers in strength and a buzzing, ignited passion.

'Garageland' is out now.

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