Good Views, Bad News
Pop punk is the grilled cheese sandwich of music. Even as you grow older, and your tastes evolve and mature, sometimes there’s just nothing better than a toasty, cheesy melt. Good Views, Bad News, Broadway Calls’ follow-up to their mouthwatering 2007 self-titled debut, is as rich and tangy as they come. Pop hooks, three-chord punk choruses begging to be shouted, and ridable beats — it all feels so effortless when done correctly, as they’ve done here. They’ve gone and matched their prior release, an album that has yet to leave my iPod since it first came across my desk two years ago, with another consistently grade A collection of three-minute marvels.
Whether shelling out the rollicking numbers as they do on “Sundowners,” tapping a political vein (“Be All That You Can’t Be”) or a heart that’s broke and bleeding (“Wake Up Call”), celebrating history while driving through red states (“Election Night”), or just celebrating the basements and bars that have helped them hone their modest but loyal fanbase (“Basement Royalty”), Broadway Calls never stray from their comfort zone. For now, that’s a good thing. Hell, it’s a great thing! It took Green Day — a band who not only stand as an obvious influence on these guys, but whose entrepreneur frontman Billie Joe Armstrong put out their first album on his own Adeline Records — seven albums before they got really ambitious (2004’s American Idiot). The Oregon trio have got plenty of productive years ahead of them, and time to branch out of the basements and into the clubs and arenas. Perhaps hinting at the bigger sound that they’re capable of delivering, “Tonight Is Alive” begins with a drum beat that sounds remarkably like “Know Your Enemy,” off Green Day’s latest, 21st Century Breakdown. Whatever their plans for the future, these days they’re just a damn fine pop punk band, and achieving that seemingly simple title is harder than it sounds.
Broadway Calls: www.myspace.com/broadwaycalls