Now on their fourth album and third release for Run For Cover Records, Hostage Calm have opted to mix their sound up a bit and experiment more, resulting in Die On Stage; but could it be the album that lifts them up above their peers and propels them to the same stages as the likes of the Gaslight Anthem?

Opening track ‘When You Know’ displays a cleaner production than has been heard on previous records, setting out the ambitions of the record from the off. Second track ‘A Thousand Miles Away From Here’ harks back to the bands roots with its raw vocal delivery and dirty guitars, demonstrating another side to the record and featuring the kind of chorus a festival crowd would be singing for days.

The middle section of the album and the likes of ‘Your Head/Your Heart’ acts as a walk through guide to summertime songs, melodies written for days in the sun and a smile in your face. Raised featuring a guest spot by Vinnie Caruana of I Am the Avalanche/The Movielife fame acts as the highlight of the album, contrasting with frontman Chris Martin’s nasal tones to great effect. ‘Past Ideas of You’ brings the record to a close with a proper old school lighters in the air, fist pumping slice of rock & roll that would not sound out of place next to a Born To Run era Springsteen record.

Die On Stage is a big record for Hostage Calm, a consistent collection of all American anthems primed for sports stadiums that sound like a band having the time of their life and producing songs to dance to. It may not set the world alight, but a fun record is all it needs to be.

[rating:3]