Release Date: Oct 10, 2006
Record label: Thrill Jockey
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
The guys in Califone are on a roll. Heron King Blues was one of the most interesting albums of 2004, and Roots & Crowns continues to build on their unique sound. On one hand, Califone's songs are pretty, melodic and acoustic more often that not; drawing musically from blues, folk, and Appalachia. On the other hand, they're radical experiments using feedback, noise, electronics and unfamiliar instruments and sounds to create sometimes otherworldly settings for their pretty songs.
Like many of its Chicago contemporaries, Califone uses its pronounced technical proficiency not to make a big sound, but to weave dozens of little hooks and motifs into a thin, unassuming fabric. On 2004’s Heron King Blues, Califone buried its riffs and melodies in Beefheart abstraction. By contrast, Roots & Crowns is almost an out-and-out pop record, but a complex one, a pop record that will reward months of deconstruction without punishing casual, one-time exposure.