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Hostage Calm - Lens (Cover Artwork)

Hostage Calm

Hostage Calm: LensLens (2008)
Redscroll

Reviewer Rating: 4
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Contributed by: OverDefinedOverDefined
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Like many genres, hardcore's biggest strengths are often its biggest downfalls. While its goal is often to be as heavy and punishing as possible, hardcore bands often ignore melody when, in fact, touches of it are what turn an average hardcore band into a great hardcore band. Whether it is in the gu.
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Like many genres, hardcore's biggest strengths are often its biggest downfalls. While its goal is often to be as heavy and punishing as possible, hardcore bands often ignore melody when, in fact, touches of it are what turn an average hardcore band into a great hardcore band. Whether it is in the guitars or the vocals, it is this lack of melody that turns off many would-be listeners. Luckily for listeners that demand melody in their punk rock and hardcore there are bands like Connecticut's Hostage Calm. Mixing a hardcore foundation with touches of smart melodic tendencies, they have created an accomplished debut LP.

A major strength of the band is the skill level apparent in each member. The guitars are always interesting, mixing power chords with melodic textures, and the bass tastefully takes the lead in "(I'm Left with All These) Holes," but it is the drums that stand out the most. They're not flashy, but are perfectly recorded and performed, lending the band a natural urgency.

Lyrically, the band eschews the search-for-self-styled lyrics so prevalent in east coast hardcore and instead explores the political and social issues of modern society. Tackling the U.S.-led forcing of democracy on the world, vocalist Chris Martin (not that Chris Martin -- I bet he's sick of hearing about that…) posits, "Both sides of the aisle have us assuming that only under [the] shadow of our flag can you be human." He closes the album in "Pushing the Paradigm," "So you can let the lights of your plastic society radiate against the nighttime smog convinced this world is brighter. But if we only learn to chase the dollar and all the evils that every dead president gladly welcomed then may good fortune follow us into the fire." It's a refreshing reminder that there is more in the world than just your own inner-struggle.

Beyond the lyrics, Martin utilizes a melodic shouting delivery that is stylistically reminiscent of Dag Nasty-era Dave Smalley and Propagandhi's #2 vocalist/bass player Todd Kowalski, mixed with the sound, oddly enough, of Jesse Michaels during his time fronting Operation Ivy. It's a gruff delivery but he manages to throw in a good amount of melody to what are mostly hardcore-styled vocals.

Hostage Calm has produced a highly intelligent hardcore record with the just right amount of melody and interesting lyrics to be a solid product the whole way through. Bridging the gap between mid-`80s post-hardcore and modern sounds, this is a band that should have widespread appeal in the punk and hardcore communities.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
The Flaming Tsunamis - Fear EverythingOff With Their Heads - From The BottomMake Do and Mend - Bodies of WaterHostage Calm - Hostage CalmAll Teeth - I Am LosingThe Gaslight Anthem - Sink or SwimPaint It Black - CVAA Wilhelm Scream - Career SuicideOperation Ivy - Operation IvyLifetime - Hello Bastards

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
literamaniac (October 27, 2010)

Mikexdude's last two comments just summed up my feelings on this record as of late perfectly

mikexdude (June 2, 2010)

My opinion has changed drastically. Just saying, this is a melodic hardcore classic.

mikexdude (March 30, 2010)

This record finally clicked. Holy shit, it rules.

mikexdude (February 17, 2009)

i don't know where they had any substantial hype other than on the B9

They're pretty good, but for someone who pays a lot of attention to underground music, there is hype around bands you would never believe.

d_bag (February 17, 2009)

they sound like Jesse Michaels singing over With Honor's second lp. they're great, and i don't know where they had any substantial hype other than on the B9. big deal.

kwarelggarf (February 16, 2009)

I met these guys while they were traveling through Pennsylvania on the turnpike. They gave me a demo CD to check out, and it was awesome. I got to talk with them for a bit and they were cool as hell. I bought and love this album, these guys are great.

jamespastepunk (February 15, 2009)

Band slays so much.

Can't wait for the next record.

xroldx (February 15, 2009)

More people should check out this band, definately one of the newer bands that stick out. Curious about their next full length.

kingkbar (February 15, 2009)

amazing record

jbt (February 14, 2009)

such an underrated album. this had barely any hype in New England.

mikexdude (February 14, 2009)

I was actually disappointed... pretty good, but I think some of the hype killed it for me.

danpib08 (February 14, 2009)

I love this record, perfect blend of melody & speed along with intelligent lyrics.

drewbob (February 13, 2009)

Fucking amazing album. It doesn't hurt that they are all the sweetest guys in the world, too. Stoked for the next full length.

Big_Guy (February 13, 2009)

great album. one of my favorites from last year

dangerass (February 13, 2009)

This band is awesome. Nice to see them getting some recognition.

ffwoodycock (February 13, 2009)

didnt think this was gonna get reviewed. glad it did.

inagreendase (February 13, 2009)

Pretty great debut. Band deserves way more notice.

They're also already set to record their next full-length in April.

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