Ever since King Calaway emerged I have heard nothing but bad things; negative press; negative responses from country fans and more. A band allegedly manufactured and whom bought their way into the industry – I for one don’t really care. The pop industry has always had manufactured bands and artists who out of nowhere have overnight success and with country getting as big as it is getting, it was only a matter of time before the same thing happened in the genre. It is harder for artists who work really hard of course to see a new band get an Opry debut before they even have any music out and to be debuted on People and so on but unfortunately it’s life and is the case in any field of work you go into. I have lost out to jobs for friends of the boss and I have been in ear shot of people exaggerating their status massively to get better opportunities but it is what it is.
People are entitled to their opinions and I of course respect that. Manufactured or not, I was willing to give the boys a go. In the grand scheme of things, the general public are not going to care where they came from, if they enjoy their music that is all they care about.
With no lead singer, fans will get to know the group individually and each one also plays an instrument..I think . The group consists of Jordan, Chad and Simon, Chris, Caleb and Austin.
The debut EP is produced by Ross Copperman who also wrote a lot of the tracks alongside Robert Deaton. I cannot find the full writers credits anywhere which is somewhat frustrating. The EP starts of with a very pop heavy sound as one would expect in the song World For Two. The track isn’t half bad, in fact it is really catchy and very easy to listen to. It does scream boy band but I like it and think a lot of young fans will too. The song has a good rhythm and nice clean vocals and polished harmonies. It is quite a big song and of quite a high standard for a debut song so King Calaway’s team have clearly chosen wisely.
Next track; No Matter What is another catchy tune but a lot more fun and energetic. This song live would be one of those songs that has the crowd going and will have a very atmospheric vibe. It kind of reminds me a little bit of One Week by Barenaked Ladies in parts.
Ok so this is where things get a bit too boy band for me. I have never been a fan of boy bands and especially boy band ballads where you can picture them all sitting on a stool in a row and singing to the girls in the front row with those cheesy facial expressions that have always made me cringe. The song titled I Do I think should have been left off the EP personally but again, it is a song a lot of people will love but I don’t like romantic cheesy pop songs, sorry guys.
Love The One Your With is probably, in my opinion, the best track off the EP and has quite a strong early Zac Brown Band feel to it. Another track that is quite energetic and would be so in the live version too, this song showcases the bands talent a lot more widely in terms of vocals and musicianship. I do hope it is the band themselves playing the instruments on the recorded versions of these songs. This is a quality song and I think it will gain a lot of respect.
Rivers is another pop ballad but a lot better than I Do. It has a echoey dance feel to it and is quite ambient and atmospheric. The song doesn’t seem to fit entirely with the rest of the EP but perhaps they are still experimenting with their sound but then again, where is the harm in mixing it up a bit? Who said your style had to maintain the same throughout?
Overall, not a bad EP, I actually thoroughly enjoyed it. I would certainly go and see them should they come to the UK. The band make their live debut at the Grand Ole Opry on March 1st and I hope Love The One Your With is one song they choose to play.
You can stream the EP Here
You can purchase the EP here