Callooh! Callay!: TALK (Self-Released)
Original: Modmobilian.com (I did not write the headline)
Tuscaloosa band, Callooh! Callay!’s second full length album, TALK, sees the band shift their sound. The energetic guitar rock of “Sasspriluh Champagne,” and their interim EP Wide Awake is still present, but the ingenuous energy of their prior releases has been replaced with an almost brooding temperament. What was peppy now is heavy, what once was fidgety now is tense.
Of course, Callooh! Callay!’s new attitude hasn’t nearly taken them to a level that is angry, exactly, but a listener will hear some pessimism creeping in the door.
And while the change is there, and the the change is real, the formula for CC hasn’t changed all that much. Adam Morrow leads the band with the same “do everything possible with a guitar” aplomb. His voice floats neatly over a sea of thick guitars, fat bass, and loud drums. It’s sonic youth without pretension, if only now because bands have been doing this for long enough that it’s no longer cutting edge to layer lots of reverby guitars and avoid all vocal machismo.
You can hear the urgency of the recordings in the opening rocker, “Talker.” Clearly the the engineer believes in a “make it sound live” approach, which is something that modern pop music (and much of alternative music) have been doing away with lately. I have a feeling, should CC make buckets of money on this record, that Steve Albini could be getting a call for the next one.
“Lady Fingers” and “Throwing stones” are a couple of riff based bruisers right smack dab in the middle of the album. The latter will make you want to 60’s mod dance somehow, put on a solid colored felt dress and shake your shoulders. “Streetlights” and “Pushing Tables,” are back to back ballads, that explore a softer side, yet still drip with a certain bitterness.
The best song on the record is also the last. “Into the Wild,” loses the brood of the majority of the rest of the record, and replaces with Springsteenian (it has to be a word) anthemic pep, with a great, catchy chorus, nice piano leads, and a generally more “indie” guitar tone. It’s milky in all the right ways.