Edge

CD REVIEWS – Houston Calls offers no surprises to punk

A few years ago a headline in The Onion said something like, “Mid-90s Punk Fan Criticizes Punks of Today.” Tongue in cheek, yes, but also telling -punk has undergone so many permutations since the halcyon days of CBGB’s that it’s often hard to remember what it was like in the first place.

Houston Calls are some of those “punks of today,” and though their recent release, A Collection of Short Stories, is tightly packed with spot-on harmonies, sophisticated lyrics and catchy choruses, the whole effort comes off a little forced.

The crux of the original punk aesthetic was that anyone could pick up a guitar or some drumsticks and start a band, a lack of a record deal or even rudimentary musical skills non-prohibitive. The new aesthetic is more concerned with a crisp, studio-polished sound and a slick video on MTV2. The punks of old still have their acolytes-the University of Miami’s Dead Hookers Bridge Club, for instance-but Houston Calls falls squarely in the latter category.

Punk derives excitement from its volatile unexpectedness. The Dead Hookers ending a show chanting “dink drink drink drink die die die die” as they inadvertently pull their own power supply out of the socket is pure chaotic exhilaration. A Collection of Short Stories offers no such surprises.

I once saw a documentary on the early days of punk in New York City, and a 20-year-old female interviewee said, “When I listen to punk it kind of makes me want to kill my mother.” Houston Calls is more melody than matricide. Good for mothers, bad for punk.

Matt Gajewski can be contacted at m.gajewski@umiami.edu.

September 6, 2005

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Boston College star Ky Bowman came down with a 102-degree fever on Saturday night. Jordan Chatman an ...

A six-pack of Hurricanes notes on a Sunday: ▪ New UM defensive coordinator Blake Baker has asked UM ...

Emese Hof and No. 20 Miami think they can play with anyone, and it shows. Hof scored 18 of her 25 po ...

New University of Miami baseball head coach Gino DiMare wanted to start strong. He got perfection. T ...

Former University of Miami star running back Mark Walton was arrested late Friday on a charge of mis ...

UM alumna Alina Mayo Azze, who has covered a myriad of topics during her 37-year career, has been a ...

Happiness and well-being scholar Tal Ben-Shahar is UM’s newest Distinguished Presidential Scholar. ...

The University of Miami will host the first symposium to explore LGBTQ human rights across the Ameri ...

UM experts react to a new ban that prohibits people in Key West from using certain types of sunscree ...

A matchmaker extraordinaire, Ricardo Cepeda, the manager of the UM Zebrafish Facility, is passionate ...

The No. 20 Miami women's basketball team stormed back from a 14-point deficit to pick up the bi ...

Brian Van Belle struck out five over six shutout innings to help the Canes sweep Rutgers on opening ...

The Hurricanes fell in Chestnut Hill, 64-57. ...

The sophomore first baseman slugged his second homer of the weekend to lead the Canes to a series wi ...

Junior Renate Grimstad led the way for Miami and is tied for 18th at one-over-par, while sophomore K ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.