By Houston Calls
If I gave you one guess as to what label this lightweight pop-punk identikit effort was released on, even the most inept popular music fan in the world would probably utter the words "Drive-Thru". Drive-Thru, the spurge of the anti-emo contemporary music fan just keep the machine rolling with wave after wave of these bands. Luckily I'm not that fussed, there was a time when I loved it due to the fact it was as if my favourite band was releasing an album every other month, but now it's naturally starting to grate. It doesn't irritate me enough as to evolve the CD into a little shiny Frisbee and lob it in the general direction of 'away from me' but I've considered it.
Houston Calls are rather anonymous, 'A Collection Of Short Stories' is wholly anonymous. It's nice, it's listenable on a hot sunny day, but little differentiates it from its current rivals and the stuff we've been force-fed for the last 5 blumming years! It's supposedly a concept album of sorts (hence 'A Collection Of Short Stories') but that doesn't come across, even when attempting to listen a little harder to pick up lyrical intricacies about some kind of fictional tale of loves and losses it all just fits into the heart shaped box of 'oh dear, vocalist has broken up with his girlfriend'. The added use of the theremin (as adopted by Motion City Soundtrack among others) is a nice addition and gives the music some identity and the whole production is as clean as a whistle that's had a going over by Mr Muscle but there's no depth whatsoever. The opening two tracks are the highlights. "Sunrise Goodbyes" & "Exit, Emergency" displaying the mould best before the rest tear that formulae to threads with even less identity. Houston Calls don't particular deserve to go anywhere, they've arrived at least 3 years late and aren't showing us anything new. Rest assured your life can be fulfilled without having ever come in to contact with Houston Calls.