(06.2008, Self Released)
Verdict = Misty, disembodied folk/Americana
Approaching an album from your hometown is always a tentative endeavor. While we manage relative, uncourageous anonymity with or little pseudonyms, there is also that struggle between wanting to be completely honest and also wanting to root for that hometown hero. Now, I’m not one of those who would vote for David Archuletta just because he was out of West Valley, but for those indie musicians from which we see glimpses of actual, “bigger than Salt Lake”, potential, you just kind of hope they can actually pull it off you know? It honestly is a rarity. There are few who can cross the line of being someone you respect in the local music scene and someone who you honestly enjoy listening to regardless of the fact that they live five minutes away. In context of this dilemma and with the desire to be completely honest, Calico has just made my day. They have touted this record as their most realized to date and the assertion is an understatement. Black Pyramid is magnificent. Steady, perfectly paced and meticulous, Black Pyramid floats along like a languid, swirling stream slowly building strength from a long winters run off. Calico captures that elusive air in-between serene, slumbering comfort and dazed, listless wandering that is simultaneously soothing and haunting. On Black Pyramid, Calico is definitely working at a level far above your average local alt-country release. This is mainly because Black Pyramid simply isn’t alt-country. More rooted in classic rock and spectral folk, Calico manage a tightly produced wondrous album that plays out something like Vetiver or Sun Kil Moon, but in a drifty Stars of the Lid kind of way. And oh(!), let me re-emphasize the production – with tiny measured flourishes, Black Pyramids is like walking through an enchanted forest filled with wondrous, magical detail. I think the most impressive item here is that with songs with a tendency to spill past the five minute mark and on average hover around 7 minutes, Black Pyramid is never boring. One of the best, most complete albums I have heard from anywhere in quite awhile. (Oh, PS - In case you missed the shows updates this week, Calico is playing an instore at Slowtrain tonight for the release Black Pyramid).
Calico on Myspace