Broadway Calls - Comfort/Distraction| ThePunkSite.com
No Sleep Records
Song: Iíll Be There
|| Reviewer: Cole Faulkner
From underdog upstarts to contemporary pop-punk pillars, Rainer, Oregon’s Broadway Calls has seen a steady rise from obscurity to their present stature. Their third full-length, Comfort/Distraction, carries on their trademark display of casual confidence that keeps their fans coming back for more. But Broadway Calls has never been one to saturate in their own success, and as a result, their latest product doubles as their most mature and ambitious to date.
Balancing recurring dark themes with upbeat hooks, the outing retains a deep yet stimulating energy. Death establishes an eyebrow raising continuity early on, creating a striking sense of contrast. Accordingly, the imagery in songs like “Surrounded By Ghosts” from casual exerts like “I’m just a dead amongst life” express just how low one can fall. More subtly, tracks like “Minus One” explore detachment and loneliness by referencing the return “to the land of living.” But as “Zombie World” and the seemingly ever-jumpy tempo makes clear moments later, we can all bounce back from our ruts – although happy endings only happen on our own initiative.
Broadway Calls’ most powerful narrative to date, “I’ll Be There” serves as the believable manifestation of their message. The well-strung, mid-tempo tale of a single mother and her children leaving a dead end life for new beginnings, the scheme feels dually terrifying and inspiring. “I wanna see you break free, I wanna see you succeed, I wanna prove to you life can be a beautiful thing” speaks front man Ty Vaughn thoughtfully. It’s immersive and sure to have listeners wholly rooting from the sidelines.
Vaughn deserves a special shout out for his best studio performance to date. He has furthered his once juvenile, snotty tone, and has added welcome worldly grit to his pitch. Coupled with more ambitious song structures, the band achieves a more cohesive and natural result.
Having created an album about out-weathering personal storms, listeners will be left nodding in satisfaction by the final curtain call. Broadway Calls lands remarkably close to the narrative bar set by The Wonder Years, and the timeless songwriting of contemporary classics New Found Glory. With Comfort/Distraction sure to remedy even the darkest of mood, there has never been a better time to get acquainted with this pop-punk trio.