This review was originally published on DyingScene.
Being a fan of pop punk these days is hard. Your genre of choice is
literally that geek with the Chuck Taylors and a tendency for being
excluded from the other high school cliques. Now factor in that the
genre has been overrun by New Found Glory and The Movielife wannabes, as
well as the fact that the world has all but forgotten about Lookout
Records, and you’re not left with much- just a sea of brightly colored
hoodies and bad tattoos all calling for the defense of a genre that’s
now a shallow reflection of what it once was.'
That’s where I Call Fives,
and their newest EP, Someone That’s Not You, come in. With a unique
style that can only be described as “been done before” and “No really, I
swear this has been done before” I Call Fives is one of the newest
quintets on the scene to have been raised on albums such as Nothing Gold Can Stay and Can’t Slow Down. Not that there is anything
inherently wrong with this, because sometimes it works out really well.
The problem is that I Call Fives, like many modern pop punk bands, focus
far too much on the pop, and not enough on the punk, and they lack any
kind of defining characteristic to make them stick out above the rest-
unless you count their kind of ridiculous name.
In short, this band gets compared to the likes of early All Time Low
(people like to stress the “early” part as if there’s a huge
difference), and that comparison isn’t too far off. Each track follows
the same formula: a verse-chorus-verse-chorus structure? Check. Lyrics,
which describe the betrayal of a nameless girl that made the
unforgivable mistake of no longer being romantically interested in the
protagonist? Sure. Fancy leads sprinkled around while the drums are just
there and the bass might as well have been left out of the mix? Of
course. An acoustic song that eliminates the bass but still otherwise
follows all the other rules? You betcha!
Scoring an average of about 8 on the Pundik-nasality scale, Someone
That’s Not You meets all of the modern pop punk standards with ease. I
Call Fives even fills their 90’s nostalgia quota on the final track, a
cover of Third Eye Blind’s How’s It Going to Be?. It’s an inoffensive
cover, it gets beefed up a little, and played slightly faster, although
overall it’s not too far off from the original. It would have been more
interesting to hear if they did more to turn it into their own song.
Don’t be mistaken- I Call Fives is good at what they do. They are
able to write a really catchy hook with relatable lyrics that are sure
to resonate with tons of young teenagers. There’s nothing wrong with any
of that- teen angst will always have an innate fan base somewhere out
there – although somewhere down the line the band will need to develop a
personality other than ‘sounding like old All Time Low’ if they ever
want to distinguish themselves. Someone That’s Not You is sure to please
those who were too young to remember, or those who get nostalgic about
the heyday of Drive-Thru Records, but everyone else looking for a sugary
pop punk fix will feel underwhelmed.