Friday, June 6, 2008

Calico - Black Pyramid

LOCAL REVIEW
Calico
Black Pyramid
(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).

-Mr. Thistle

Calico on Myspace

23 comments:

Justin Snow said...

Stars Of The Lid and Sun Kil Moon? Sounds pretty good. It's always exciting when a local band is one of your favorites. Boston has a lot of shitty bands, but Neptune and Big Bear are two that I just can't get enough of. I go to every show I can. And Animal Hospital is another one that I actually like.

Anonymous said...

calico fucking sucks. they opened for fleet foxes: ruined the show. musicians poorly imitating other musicians. man, that stuff was cool 6-8 years ago. entertaining to the ignorant. the mustache fucking sucks like those he's posing: I'm From Barcelona.

todd le. said...

You got a point. Hell, I invite the members of the band to quit and stop wasting their years in this band. Seriously, if they actually focus on a career, they'll be years ahead of their buddies. Why in the hell would you delay adulthood for the sake of being in a crappy band?

Mr. Thistle said...

Heh, those last two comments seem to have a little bit of bitter, personal edge to them. :) oh well. I actually agree with the whole live thing. Haven't been super impressed - however, I stand by the album. Really good.

Wooly Mammal said...

Hey, Mr. Thistle, you should probably put a disclaimer on the comments section, just so young children dont actually read all this wildly strong language.

Anonymous said...

bitter? when something leaves a bitter taste in your mouth, it doesn't mean you're bitter. sh*t music sounds like sh*t music. it's all the same thing.

Anonymous said...

oh yeah. a disclaimer? why not warn us of the albums that contain naughty words, like the latest wolf parade. little mormon infants might be listening. man, calico fucking sucks.

Wooly Mammal said...

Woah dudes, I was kidding with that last comment. And honestly, I dont even like Calico, I find them boring. But if you dont like something, dont listen to it. No need to bring it down. Besides you guys not liking Calico probably has more to do with them stealing your girlfriends than their actual music.

Mr. Thistle said...

Just for the record: I'm all for opinions and everything, but how many of you have even listened to this record at all? Anyone more than once? Ok, this is a review of their records and it kills in my opinion (of which this blog is based) so rather than rag on the band how about you all listen to the record and tell me what you think - good or bad.

T.Le said...

My review of the record:

This is not a record. It's far from it. It's actually a compact disc. Calico's latest CD is .2 mm thick, almost pure polycarbonate plastic and weighs approximately 16 grams.

There is music etched. Rarely heard or will be heard by anyone. File under Archive, and the fuckin' burn the archive.

Sassi said...

I don't like this thread one bit.

Dainon. said...

I liked the album. So there.

charles in charge said...

man. this is really, really disturbing.
i am (believe it or not) a seattle local with sub pop, and was turned on to this record and blog by a friend here in town. i'm appalled at the commentary here. what is this, MySpace? or is it a forum for critical thought surrounding new, sometimes challenging music.
my advice is that you clowns focus on appropriating yourselves to forums that suit you better - and restrain from poisoning the likes of this poor thing.
frankly, you wouldn't see much of this sort of thing in many other larger music scenes, and it's too bad that you guys are representing your home town like this. ugly.

motherlowed said...

I for one was flabbergasted with this record.
Absolutely, it's a record; a petty, over-argued term that notes the essence of an effort as much as it defines physicality.

Well done guys. Beautiful stuff, I know many to whom the word is spreading in Portland, and the verdict seems to be a resounding "hell yes!"

Hope to see you play these parts, soon.

Mr. Thistle said...

you can always expect a couple retards to make everyone look bad. Ah well, I am still listening to this album and it kills!

Anonymous said...

...caring about what other cool dudes think about you. typical.
-signed, the lead singer's mustache

Anonymous said...

Attention Fans: Black Moon Pyramid, i mean Black Pyramid was released June 2008. If the album does not sell more than 150 copies, we will disband in September. This is the 90 day challenge we are giving ourselves and our fans. We can not afford another unsucessful tour of the northwest. Send us the money, we'll send you the album, and you can do whatever you want with it: listen to it, store it away, place in microwave, sell it to mormon babies. It would be your property, so do what you desire. By the way, that would be way kool if someone covered our songs. So kool! Signed, the red-headed guy's red hair.

calico c said...

i like this dialogue that's going on. keep it up. signed the bass player's pinky toe...

Anonymous said...

that negative ass who started this whole thing is an embarrassment. grow up. get over your facial hair frustration / envy. learn to listen to a cd/record/album for what it is, and not for what you think the people who recorded it MIGHT be like. out of personal curiousity, do you happen to have a link to something you've recorded?

Anonymous said...

calico is making some of the most creative music in the salt lake scene. it's quiet and thoughtful. it slowly blows your mind. live: they're tight and talented. on CD: they expand on their sound without adding extra noise -- everything has its place. every band will have its naysayers, but i believe in these guys.

Anonymous said...

90 day challenge is almost over and Calico still needs to sell 150+ CDs. Come on people! Support you local scene by throwing 1-2 hours wage to something you'll listen once. Or maybe half.

I'd say, support your local scene by not supporting the shit. Spend cash on quality.

calico c said...

here's an idea... if you want to buy the album, buy it. if you don't, don't. seems pretty easy. we made the album for those who want to listen to it. if everyone liked us, we'd probably be doing something wrong, so i fully appreciate the fact that people apparently dislike us so much as to seek out forums in which to talk about how much they don't like us, which i find fascinating. to create such a strong reaction one way or another is a huge compliment, in my opinion. at least people are talking about us... :)

Anonymous said...

FYI, there’s about 25 Black Pyramid albums here at the Provo Deseret Industries. We get about 6 a week from people. They make excellent paper weights. I book-mark my scriptures with their CD. Their jewel case melted onto my car dashboard. Weird.