Release Date: Oct 24, 2006
Record label: Asthmatic Kitty
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
There are some avant-gardists who could care less about pleasing audiences; in fact, they take great pride in giving audiences the middle finger and saying, "Get lost if you don't like it. " But others want to share; even at his most extreme and ferociously atonal in 1966 and 1967, John Coltrane wanted listeners to understand where he was coming from (which didn't necessarily stop some of his most ardent admirers from walking out the door during that period). And in math rock -- much like avant-garde jazz -- one encounters the middle finger types as well as folks who want listeners to understand even when some of those listeners might be saying, "I really don't get this.
The appeal of Calamity lies in its likeness to a sketchbook. Minimally arranged, a little rough around the edges, the songs have an understated vitality and liveliness that is preserved in their simple execution. A few lines drawn here and there is enough to bring them to life. The unassuming presentation also means the basic ideas behind the songs come through, and the clear, confidant statement of values – ’60s pop-melodisism, playful song-form, uncluttered arrangements – are a welcome contrast to the usual stylistic gloss or overt referencing of influence.