Let's face it, it's not easy to be a new major-label rock band in search of an audience right now.

Let's face it, it's not easy to be a new major-label rock band in search of an audience right now. The demand to adhere to one of several narrow niches is intense. The trick is discerning which niche is overcrowded at any given moment. Given the current glut of Blink-182 and Limp Bizkit clones, the Calling has opted to plow through ground cultivated by Creed. While much of Camino Palmero has a familiar ring to it, the act has undeniable chops. Frontman Alex Band is an engaging presence, breathing sincerity into his every syllable, while the rest of the band sounds like it will kick butt on its forthcoming fall tour. There are even a handful of infectious tunes that seem destined for radio airwaves, starting with the acoustic-rooted "Wherever You Will Go." The hitch is that the listener is eventually left wondering where the Calling will go once the Creed niche disappears or overflows. The talent is there. Time will tell if they're given a chance to put it to proper use.—LF