rating: 2.5Facebook: www.facebook.com/icallfives Website: www.icallfives.com Released: March 20th Pop-punk is like an itch. Scratch it, and youll find relief, only for the itch to resurface again after a while. Ignore it, youll forget about it and wont give it a second thought. The popularity of pop-punk cant be questioned, but what can be questioned about the genre is whether its viable that its as popular as it is. Yeah, okay, sing-along-choruses and catchy hooks are always a winner, but doesnt it feel like a genre thats been replicated far too often? That its got a limited sound? Fair enough, its understandable that some people may enjoy the never-grow-old feel pop punk captures but once you do actually grow up and grow away from that style of music it feels its a genre stuck in its ways, one that can only be related to when youre either pissed, singing your heart out in a rock club, in a house party, at a festival with someones boombox playing the golden oldies who everyone knows (New Found Glory, Blink 182, Bowling For Soup etc), and feels like a genre that will never stem into anything more than something thatll bring back memories of good times. But, as Ive said, thats what this genres all about, so fans will definitely enjoy the new EP by I Call Fives, who produce a blend of pop-punk which has been heard before but taps into the catchy, accessible aspect that pop-punk elitists hold dear. The title-track has essences of New Found Glory, and is almost like a younger brother of NFG, with its lyrics which tackle relationships and lifes problems coupled with straightforward melodic riffs. The harsher vocals add a rougher side to the track and bring to mind the more punk influences the band may have, such as Millencolin and Pennywise. The second track, Backup Plan, has offshooting riffs which add a real sense of rhythm and that bit more creativity to their sound which opens the way for a winding, twisting riff to fluctuate in. The final section of the track sets this one apart, as its a real smooth, refined part the gang vocals are really effective and help the vocalists sometimes too generic vocals. http://youtu.be/QU74CffyFe4 Lakeview is like something youd hear off some American TV drama where the boy misses out on the girl and its a track thatll definitely be a favourite with the bands fans who declare themselves sensitive. The slow pace of the track means that the track patters along at a relaxing pace, but there seems to be some clichéd aspects to the track such as the homesick lyrics lyrics which seem to be the new cool thing for bands to sing about and this is what lets the track down. Musically, it works, but lyrically its a bit too adolescent for most listeners to enjoy. Hows It Gonna Be, the final track, is the most tedious track on offer and its a shame because if the first two tracks ended this EP, or the band continued with the quality of those tracks throughout, then theyd have a fairly decent EP on their hands. This track is quite cringey at times, the vocalist really struggles to capture the listener probably because hes lengthening out every syllable he sings and youll find yourself wandering off. Again, though, musically, the band are alright, although not the best pop-punk band youll hear; the riff in this track is solid, but the lyrics and vocals really fall flat and essentially, are the main protagonists in what let this EP down. I Call Fives have obviously got a fan-base out there, just check their Facebook, but with this EP you wonder whether the fans will still be there after listening to it, because pop-punk is a fickle genre and only a few bands really break out and cement their places in peoples hearts. Unfortunately, with this EP, I Call Fives show no promise of breaking out (although their appearance on the Pure Noise Records Tour may prove me wrong) and sadly fall into the just-another-band category. I hope they prove me wrong with their next release but this EP simply just doesnt cut it. If youre an avid fan of the band and pop-punk then this may be something youll enjoy, but if youve grown up from pop-punk then perhaps itd be best to give this one a miss.