Episode 67: I Call Fives: Positive & Powerful Pop Punk

Today on the podcast we are featuring the New Jersey-based group I Call Fives. Learn more about them and listen to their track “Honest & Only.”

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Show Notes and Full Transcript

Hey everyone welcome to the Eat Sleep Breathe Music podcast. I am your host Jeanette Kimszal. For those of you just joining us, this is the podcast where I talk about different musicians and how their music affects me and then play I track of theirs for you to listen to.

So you can check it out and form your own opinion as well. And if you are so interested in sharing your thoughts on this track and the artist I’ll have details at the end of the show where you can leave your comments.

So I hope you all are having a good week. I am recording this at the end of January and again I cannot believe how fast this month went by. Yesterday was a little bit better. The sun was shining.

Today it is snowing. Like wet snow rain. Being close to the coast I feel like we don’t get a lot of snow. Knock on wood. Watch there be a pouring down of snow after I said that (laughing).

However, the weather isn’t really bothering me too much today. Sometimes I get really blah when I can’t get out but I have found that today I am actually in a great mood.

And I think I know why. It’s because I’ve been listening to more music. And in particular, I’ve been listening to the track I’m featuring today.

I’m really excited to share it with you. Especially because it’s not out yet. I feel so honored to be promoting this before the release date. 

So thank you to the band for letting me do this! 

Today I am chatting about I Call Fives and their newest release “Honest & Only.”

I Call Fives is a pop punk band from Washington Township which is in my home state of New Jersey!  So that is pretty cool. 

There are so many great bands and musicians coming out of the garden state and I Call Fives is no exception.

When I initially heard their music, when I listened to this track I was instantly hooked to their sound. But I’ll go into that a little more in a bit.

First, I want to give you some background on the band.

Since forming in 2006 the band has had some lineup changes and is currently a quintet comprised of the following members..and please forgive me if I am pronouncing any of these names incorrectly. 

They are…returning members vocalist Jeff Todd, bassist and vocalist Drew Conte, guitarist Anthony Plata, and guitarist Mike Joffee. They are also joined by drummer Devin Passariello. 

To date, the band has released four EPs through No Sleep Records and one self-titled full-length album in July 2012 via Pure Noise Records.

I Call Fives has played notable festivals such as the Vans Warped Tour in 2012, Skake & Surf Festival in 2013, and Australia’s annual music festival, Soundwave in 2014.

They also toured extensively as headlining acts and worldwide supporting groups such as The Wonder Years, Senses Fail, and The Dangerous Summer.

Around 2014 the band took a 7-year hiatus that ended in February 2021. They took to social media to announce their return and how they signed with Smartpunk Records. 

This year also saw the release of some new music from the band. They dropped a cover of “At Your Funeral” by fellow NJ band Saves the Day.

Then the spring of 2021 saw the release of another track “Be Kind Rewind.”

From what I gathered from looking at their streaming music pages. “Honesty & Only” seems to be the first music they will be putting out since 2021. 

And this is the track I’ll be playing later for you. 

This is the first release on their upcoming EP entitled Not For Everyone, which is slated for release on March 3, 2023, via Smarkpunk Records.

I don’t recall ever listening to I Call Fives in the early aughts. I’m surprised and disappointed because they would have been a band that I would have liked to see. Listen to and see live.

Even just going to this particular track I was instantly amused and charmed by their powerful melodies.

It really kind of lifted my spirits with the music. There is something about pop punk that I really enjoy. As said before many times on this podcast I tend to go gravitate toward that (laughing).

And there is just something about it that made me fall in love with it instantaneously. Just a few notes of the introduction music just this dundud and I don’t know if I’m imitating that correctly (laughing) but i”m just like yeah! 

I”m digging the vibe. And I’m digging these fast power pop melodies. They are just what I need and especially for this depressing January day. 

It’s just…you know…the introduction just hits you hard. There is about 20 seconds maybe of these heavy-hitting guitars and drums in the beginning and it creates this pleasing sense of release and you’re just focused in on the sound of the drums and guitars.  

It’s very drum heavy, it’s very guitar heavy. The guitars almost have this not-like synthesizer sound to it but it’s like doo…it’s like mhmm (imitating guitars).

I can’t really…I can’t imitate it (laughing) but it’s just cool. And then you’re thinking “what’s gonna happen next?” 

Then at 21 seconds, the vocals jump in and they are these endearing lovelorn soulful vocals. 

The lyrics express a lot of things. They convey regret, and loss, but they also show the need for gratitude, hopefulness, and positivity.

It talks about how things are out of our power and just to hold on to the good things we have in our lives. 

The lyrics go

Circumstances are out of my hands /Got to love you as long as I still can/ Got to appreciate the time we have and just forget the rest 

So there’s that element of uncertainty and just not knowing what is going to happen. But you know you should hold on because it’s important to have hope and positivity and if we don’t have these things we are going to feel really bleak. 

And this can definitely be easier said than done. It is hard to shake mental anguish and fall into those patterns of not feeling like anything will get better. 

Hopefully listening to positive messages and things that are uplifting or seeing how other people who are struggling have been able to find the good can help others get by as well.

So I think there is a nice message in the song.

The band has said in a joint statement that “No matter how bleak the future looks, you can’t let it ruin the present. You have to appreciate what you have while you have it. You have to make the most of every day.”

Another thing that I think of when I hear this statement was the saying that if you don’t have gratitude it’s really hard to appreciate things.

I felt like I was suffering from this. So I decided to start doing these gratitude practices for like a month and it really put me in a better headspace. There is so much research on the benefits of gratitude and thankful practices it’s interesting how it can change your brain.

Another thing I want to mention is the progression into the bridge at about 2 minutes into the song. I really like how it breaks down and changes to focus on the continuous drum standing out with a repetitive guitar riff. I like that part of the song as well.

Overall, I was really fascinated with the song. You know listening to it initially gave me goosebumps and it really touched me.

I don’t know what it is…again it’s very guitar and drum-centric musical elements are what make this song exciting and stand out to me. I think it’s a real banger.

I Called Fives has gotten notoriety for their other music as well. Their 2012 debut full-length premiered at #13 on Billboard Top Heatseekers Chart. 

They have been getting love on the blogosphere with features and write-ups in Sputnik Music, Kill Your Stereo, Rate Your Music, Punk News dot Org, Idobi Network, Scene Point Blank, Dying Scene, What Culture, Caught in the Crossfire, Already Heard, The Punk Site, Property of Zack, Under the Gun Review, NYS Music, Album of the Year, Music Existence. Stitched Sound, Room 13, That’s Good Enough for Me, Bacon is my Podcast, Highlight Magazine, Rock Freaks dot Net, and Verbicide.

If you’re into music videos there is a video that accompanies the track that is directed by Nicholas Libraro.

This along with the track will be released on February 10th. 

If you want to get your own copy of “Honesty & Only” or their new EP Not for Everyone you can find a pre-order on Smartpunk Records.

Vinyl copies of the release are limited to 200 records and with your purchase, you will get their 2010 EP Bad Advice for the very first time in over ten years as a B-Side. 

If you want to check out some of their other music you can find it now streaming online.

With that being said I think I’ve been chatting enough and don’t want to take up too much of your time so without further ado here is “Honest & Only” by I Call Fives.

We would love to know what you think about I Call Fives. You can tell us in a comment on the podcast webpage. You can also leave an audio comment at the link in the episode summary.

For more information on I Call Fives you can check out their Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at the handle I Call Fives.

That is I-C-A-L-L-F-I-V-E-S.

If you’re looking for more new music be sure to subscribe to our podcast so you will get the latest updates on our artist features. 

You can also find more music features on our website at www.EatSleepBreatheMusic.com. That is E-a-t-S-l-e-e-p-B-r-e-a-t-h-e-M-u-s-i-c dot com.

Thanks for listening and see you in the next episode!

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