Hostage Calm - Please Remain Calm (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Hostage Calm

Please Remain Calm (2012)

Run For Cover

If you liked Lens in 2008 and the self-titled LP in 2010, then it's safe to say expectations would be pretty high for this new Hostage Calm record. The guys have stuck true to their strengths and kept that melodic and pop-punk sound, as they've placed more and more emphasis on the ever-improving vocals of Chris Martin. This record shows how well Martin knocks it out the park. He's highlighted strongly on the album and it's apparent that Hostage Calm have found their talisman in his voice and stuck to it quite nicely.

"On Both Eyes" rings that simple, melodic notion of pop-punk that the guys have effectively disbursed to their fan base, and it's good to note that there's much more of a pop feel to this record than on any of their other releases. There's little semblance of a hardcore element and it works just fine on Martin's clean, crisp and harmonious voice. "Don't Die On Me Now" follows in the same vein and there are a lot of songs here that are akin to Spitalfield, the Hurt Process and Madcap. It really sounds like one of those fun records which Victory Records put out around 2002 when Taking Back Sunday/Thursday ran their flagship.

In addition to Martin's clever voice, the drums here add an admirable texture to the melodic depth and dynamism of the album. "Brokenheartland" remains elegant in its own unique and exquisite take on what Martin perceives to be the decadence of the world which flows neatly into the alternative anthem "Woke Up Next To A Body." "The M-Word" utilizes an orchestra to propel its ballad-like tone, swarmed with heart and romance, but there's a subtle feel that songs such as "May Love Prevail" and "Closing Remarks" could have done with the safety off.

Don't get me wrong; they haven't saturated the melody on the record, and there's variety but something just felt missing. They make up for this shortfall with the enthralling anthem about liberty in "Impossible" and the intricate multi-vocal "Patriot." Please Remain Calm ends up being a record that's hard to nitpick. It isn't a perfect LP but it's a great testament as to what Hostage Calm's done in the past, and gives great insight into how they've charted their progression. I expect things to keep getting bigger for them.