Call Security – To Whom It May Concern
Rock and roll dreams still come true. Call Security, a five piece from Geneva, New York beat out 48 other groups in an American staple, a Battle of the Bands contest, and won free studio time as a result. The band’s first recording, To Whom It May Concern, is a collection of original material with modern production qualities that takes Call Security’s influences and mingles them with their own distinctive character. The songs are tightly focused, for the most part, and reject much of the self-indulgence endemic to the band’s artistic heroes. Instead, To Whom It May Concern is a relatively stripped down affair and the recording helps vividly present them, warts and all.
The music might remind listeners of other bands, but it has tremendous spirit. There’s few songs where its more apparent than on the opening number, “Small Talk”, and a lot of that is thanks to the simple, but rollicking piano playing propelling the track forward. “Hometown Hair” has an unusual title, but a close listen to the lyrics will reveal the reason. However, the multi-tracked harmony vocals and another scintillating run on the piano will tell listeners much more about the song. The music isn’t earth shattering, but does a great job of giving musical weight to the lyrics. “Lead Me On” is a surprising and sharp blast of straight-up rock and roll, but there isn’t as much depth here as listeners will find in earlier and later songs. The lack of harmonies, compared to the earlier tracks, is another problem, but many people will adjust.
“Already Gone” does a good job of sustaining its musical intensity, but by this point, it’s becoming clear that the band doesn’t vary their approach enough. There are small differences and adjustments from song to song. However, the uniformity of mood and tempo is hard to ignore and it isn’t because of a lack of talent. The band is feeling their way forward on songs like this and the liberal mixture of imagination and trope never dooms the tune altogether. To Whom It May Concern ends with “For the Better” that rates as one of the album’s better songs. One of its best points is how it unfolds with a steady, unfolding assurance and fills the performance with deceptively cinematic grandeur.
Here’s to hoping that Call Security’s rock and roll dreams continue, but moreover, let’s hope that their hunger for playing as an unit and writing songs continues to grow. Call Security need to make a concerted effort on future releases to avoid the pitfalls of conscious and unconscious imitation, but no matter what, we can judge To Whom It May Concern as a solid, though flawed, work.
7 out of 10 stars.