After being impressed with the debut single Reptiles, I was looking forward to this album. Melbourne’s Calling All Cars have gathered themselves a positive live reputation with no-nonsense, catchy rock songs. This album Dancing With A Dead Man is the band’s second and is much better than their debut record a few years back Hold, Hold, Fire.
The first thing that strikes me with this record is that it has more flavour and variety in sounds then their 1st record. There’s the balls out rock tracks destined to be crowd favourites live. There’s softer moments and there’s a mix in vocals and some great guitar lines that allow this album to be a platform for bigger and better things for Calling All Cars. In fact, the band has the potential to be in the upper echelon of Aussie rock bands in the next few years sitting alongside the likes of The Living End or Birds Of Tokyo
The album is full of potential singles all with bite. Reptile is a rollicking track that lights a fire under the belly. Opening track Redline has a distinctive Silverchair flavour. You know, back when Silverchair were good! The title track is a dark, moody rock tune and vocalist Haydn sounds a lot like Dave Grohl when he lets it rip. The Desert Sun is a softer track with some sweet melodies and an expansive sound. Fireworks In A Hurricane has potential single all over it and is one of my favourites on the album. And final track Wait For War is a foot-stomping number full of fuzz and distortion that builds up to the big finish before slowly taking the foot off and ending the record with the listener wanting more.
Rumours of some unique recording techniques (recording vocals in 40 degree temperatures etc) may have helped add edge and fire to this record. Calling All Cars are still about an album away from hitting their straps, but with this record they certainly have come in leaps and bounds. It’s a grower and gets better with repeated listens. Think After The Fall and Trial Kennedy and you get the picture where this album lies overall sound wise.