The Calls, an indie rock band from Leeds, have recently released their debut mini album The Night The World Stood Still. It’s clear the band grew up in the indie scene, with a sound reminiscent of The Vaccines, Radiohead, and The Smiths.
'May Day' is a confident opener, with strong electric guitar and lyrics that almost drone alongside the music. At time it feels like just another indie song by any other northern band. However, it’s the second track, 'What Can You Do', that impresses and presents this band as something different and aiming to have a unique sound. The vocalist asks "when I think of love I think of you, oh what can you do?” and is less than flattering to his love interest, describing them with nothing to stay, standing by a bargain booze alone “drinking cans of special brew”. Not quite the romantic image, but it does reiterate an edgy image the band is potentially going for. A bouncing rhythm, catchy chorus, 'What Can You Do' is a clear strength in this mini-album.
Moving on to 'I Am Gone', the tone shifts into a darker more WORD tone. Instead of loving someone outside a none British alcohol shop, the vocalist sings "my dreams of love are smashed again”. If we take the album as a continuous narrative the person drinking special brew is clearly a heart breaker. Instead of a nightly fling with a person you met outside of Bargain Booze, 'I Am Gone' implies a more toxic relationship, with the narrator stating “she was racin’ through my mind, pull that trigger of the gun you’ll find you pulled it one too many times.” The lyrics of this track are far more interesting than the music, in them you’ll find layers of narrative in the singer's suffering. Although it reverts back to a similar sound we heard in 'May Day', the lyrics make the third track stand out.
'The Night The World Stood Still' alongside 'Lost Art of Romance', which was released earlier this year, are placed towards the end of the album. The latter is the stronger of the two, equating romance with revolution. Placed at the end of the mini-album is six-minute long 'I Can’t Afford It' – a sentiment, which is easy to relate to as a student. Asking “at the end of the day what difference did it ever make?”, the narrator implies that wealth is not all that matters in life despite spending six whole minutes complaining about his lack of money.
Ultimately, this mini-album is a good debut from The Calls. It’s a dark sound with intricate lyrics. The Calls are definitely a band to look out for in the future if a full length album is released.