New band Call in Artillery recently released their latest album, an extension of their EP of the same title that was released in 2014. Frontman Chris Schwan formed the band in 2011 and in the same year they released their first EP Sky Harbour. With influences such as The Killers, Alkaline Trio and The Clash, the latest album entitled This is Temporary is a mix of rock, punk and rap that has enough variety to keep the listener on their toes.
The album begins with a funky syncopated bass line in Fight Night. Although the secondary vocals in the chorus seem a little messy, the layered counterpoint-esque vocals in the third chorus give an interesting feel to the song. Lipstick takes a more country feel with both electric and acoustic guitars and interesting rhythmic changes during the second verse. The third track, Blackout, is clearly the lead single from the album. With a catchy hook on the lyrics ‘don’t let me go’ it’s a sure-fire way to elicit some car ride sing-a-long moments. Although the next song I Won’t Let Go isn’t exactly a catchy tune, it does provide a respite from the indie/punk feel of the other tracks. Featuring Tommy Drapon the sonic atmosphere consists of synth sounds which fit extremely well with Drapon’s rap.
The next two songs, Fuck You and Care Free Living highlight the band’s punk influences, with rough sounding vocals and driving rhythmic guitar. The ending of the latter track could have sustained the squealing guitar noise, since cutting it so short seemed strange to my ears after such a rough song. The penultimate track, Hey Natalie is a more intimate song; however, I couldn’t make out the form. Possibly more of an instrumental change, or a slight break between sections may have made this clearer. The last song, Hands to the Sky, had yet another different vibe: heavy metal. This vibe mixed with the aggressive rap of PIR actually reminded me a lot of the YouTube sensation Epic Rap Battles of History’s Mozart vs Skrillex.
All in all, this album is an eclectic mix of sounds and influences. Although the vocals could have benefitted from more control (possibly through breathing exercises), and small improvements to certain aspects of some songs could have made the album a smoother listen, I believe it’s a great debut album for the band. I give it 7/10.
To get to know their lead singer Chris Schwan better, check out my interview with him