Broadway Calls - Good Views, Bad News (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Broadway Calls

Good Views, Bad News (2009)


There's a breeziness and simplicity to Broadway Calls' Good Views, Bad News that, when complemented by strong songwriting and honest personal and social struggles, makes for an album that's hard not to like.

Yeah, this is pop-punk (arguably a slower, straightforward take on the Nimrod-era Green Day variety). And yeah, this isn't quite as versatile and sprawling as the band's other full-length, a self-titled affair that featured aching acoustic romps and even a condensed yet layered and accomplished Smiths cover ("A Rush and a Push and the Land Is Ours")., this isn't quite as energetic, either (compare Good Views' generally mid-tempo pacing to scrappier old cuts like "Suffer the Kids"). However, the band's sense of melody is expanded here, generally more full-bodied and more consistent from song to song, and that makes a more complete listening experience from front to back. The album's also about three songs and six minutes more concise.

Their subject matter is just as inspired too, though. First single and major standout, "Be All That You Can't Be" is a thinly veiled shot at military recruiters who target the poor and underprivileged, stripping kids of their potential. "Give Up the Ghost" seems to showcase the occasional bleakness of frontman Ty Vaughn's touring outlook.

Bassist Matt Koenig seems to sing a little more than he did on the self-titled record too, a dual vocal approach thankfully relied upon a little more than they had in the past. It's a dynamism that's subtle but goes a long way in keeping the songs interesting, pretty much nailing it in "Tonight's Alive" and the chorus of "Be All That You Can't Be."

Broadway Calls have been improving with every release, and while certain elements may be missed, weeding them out (temporarily?) may have been necessary for that to happen. Good Views, Bad News is far from perfect but it's another steady collection of songs that assuredly eclipses Broadway Calls' previous material.

Midnight Hour
Be All That You Can't Be

Tonight Is Alive