Vancouver, BC three-piece Collect Call began when the band’s two founding members decided to make a Christmas album together. That album never came to fruition; however the songs that did transpire during those early musical meetings became the genesis of what made them want to pursue writing and recording original music. The two (Tom Lee and Nick Babey) entered music school together in 2011 and while there met the third member of the band (Todo Rovic).
The songs that would eventually grow up to become their debut record Spring Constant were first conceived of acoustically in a tiny shared dorm room which Lee (who writes the songs) and Babey shared. They credit this situation as helping them to build the songs up in their heads. By the time they got into the studio to record Spring Constant the foundations of the songs were so familiar that it was easier to build upon the melodies by adding layers of strings, horns, piano and percussion as necessary.
The album opens with the jangly and frolicking guitar-driven “Home For the Winter,” which sets up the sound stage for how the rest of the album will largely sound. Following closely in the first track’s footsteps is the speedily acoustic and lyrically reprimanding “Consequences.” Here the sweet sounding strings pour over the guitars and give the song depth.
The song “Old Songs” employs the old snare addled drum fills and up-tempo acoustic guitar of a classic old school country song, and then after a mellow breakdown builds into a raucous rampage of electric guitar and drums. Over subsequent listens the song reveals the musical magic which Collect Call practice. They have the ability to build bridges and take a song in a 360-degree shift with a slight of hand right before your ears.
The lovelorn lament “Line” pairs crisp and clean electric guitars with rollicking piano rolls, and again builds into an all-out rocker with the horns and violin coming. The strings and horns appear again on the lyrically introspective “Why Must I Go,” which shifts from soft to loud and then soft again, a song structure that Collect Call seems most comfortable with.
Another example of this magic is found on the slow build of “The Seed” on which the mellow acoustic guitar plays half the song alone until suddenly the rest of the band joins in. The album closes beautifully with “My Spring Your Fall” a monster pop-rock jam sweetened with the addition of violin and horns.
With Spring Constant, Collect Call has proved that they know how to craft catchy pop tunes with danceable beats, making them worth accepting the charges.
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