Thoughts Words Action review Calm.’s ‘Dysfunctional Assumptions’
“A sonic journey that encapsulates the spirit of punk rock”
Calm.’s sophomore EP, “Dysfunctional Assumptions,” thrusts listeners into a maelstrom of raw, unbridled energy that is both refreshing and desperately needed in an era tainted by deception. Comprising six tracks, this musical journey is a revelation, an rock-solid proof of the band’s evolution over the past decade. Hailing from Harrogate, North Yorkshire, this punk rock quartet has traversed various musical landscapes, weaving together elements of Midwest emo, hardcore, skate punk, and pop-punk into a tapestry that exudes anthemic brilliance.
The EP commences with the visceral impact of “Obsessive Compulsive,” the lead single that sets the tone for the entire sonic experience. The powerful riffs and infectious melodies act like a gateway into a world where twenty-something angst is expressed with unapologetic intensity. They continue with “Unlicensed Therapy,” a catchy track empowered by palm-muted verses and anthemic choruses. From cleverly arranged riffs, chord progressions, themes, and leads to an energetic and precise rhythm section, Calm demonstrates why they’re among the best kept secrets on the British melodic punk rock scene. Songs like “Forever Holiday,” Sofa Dwellers Of The World Unite,” and “Camp Incredible” showcase their ability to combine some of the finest properties of pop-punk, indie rock, and emo with such ease. Each composition is fresh and unique, proving that Calm is a versatile band that’s no stranger to any music genre. They close this marvellous material with “Domesticated,” an energetic melodic punk rock anthem fully stacked with flawlessly performed vocal harmonies, tasty riffs, catchy leads, heavy basslines, and profoundly dynamic drumming.
The amalgamation of influences from Samiam, Jawbreaker, All, and Fugazi to Weezer, The Dirty Nil, and My Chemical Romance results in a sound that defies easy categorization. Calm takes the best elements from each phase of their musical journey, infusing them with orchestral acrobatics that make ‘Dysfunctional Assumptions’ a standout in the punk rock landscape. The EP is a rollercoaster of emotions, a cathartic release that encapsulates the struggles, frustrations, and defiance of a generation that feels torn apart and deceived. The lyrics delve into deep narratives of the human experience, particularly the rough journey of those navigating the treacherous waters of their twenties. The anger in the new songs resonates not only in the lyrics but also in the powerful instrumentation, creating a sonic landscape that is both empowering and thought-provoking. Standout tracks like “Obsessive Compulsive,” “Unlicensed Therapy,” “Forever Holiday,” and “Domesticated” showcase the band’s mastery in crafting earworm melodies that linger long after the music fades. The powerful riffs and dynamic shifts in tempo create a captivating listening experience, keeping the audience engaged from start to finish. Each song on the EP contributes to the overarching narrative, building a cohesive and immersive atmosphere that reflects the band’s growth and maturity.
“Dysfunctional Assumptions” exemplifies their ability to channel the zeitgeist of a generation through their music. The EP is a sonic journey that encapsulates the spirit of punk rock, delivering a potent mix of aggression, introspection, and unapologetic authenticity. As Calm continues to evolve and refine their sound, ‘Dysfunctional Assumptions’ stands as a formidable statement, a musical manifesto that demands to be heard and felt.
“Dysfunctional Assumptions” is currently available on CD and vinyl - Head to Engineer Records for more information.