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Calla, 7.5/10
Scavengers , 5/10
Televise , 6/10
Collisions (2005), 5.5/10
Strength In Numbers (2007), 5/10

Calla is a trio from New York (originally, Texas) that plays a softly hallucinated music reminiscent of Ry Cooder's soundtracks and Red House Painters. Singer Aurelio Valle, "programmers" Wayne Magruder (a former Bowery Electric) and keyboardist Sean Donovan sculpted shadowy melodies that slowly crept out of their fragile envelope. The ambience of Calla (Sub Rosa, 1999 - Arena Rock, 2004) is stark and stately. Its funereal dirges are mostly content of repeating their own spleen. The mood is framed by the Calexico-ain psychedelic drowsiness of the instrumental opener, Tarentula , and amplified by the depressed psychedelia of other instrumentals: Truth About Robots , with its shrieking guitar, June, with its wavering electronic hiss, lazy syncopated drums and pointless guitar doodling, not to mention Keyes, that pares down the concept to a sustained dissonance and distant drums.
Among real "songs", the gentle lullaby Elsewhere is the catchier and warmer, followed by the pseudo-calypso of Trinidad. The semi-tribal, twangy, sleepy Custom Car Crash finds an unlikely compromise between Ennio Morricone and Tom Waits. Only Drowning Men, after a four-minute instrumental overture of sketchy guitar tones and looping electronic patterns, moans a few slow, bluesy lines while the guitar erects a wall of noise a` la Donovan's Hurdy Gurdy Man. Awake and Under
(Translation by/ Tradotto da Milena Ferrante) I Calla sono un trio di New York (di origine Texana) che suona una musica mollemente allucinata che ricorda le colonne sonore di Cooder e le ballate ambient di Mark Lanegan. Aurelio Valle, voce, e i“programmatori” Wayne Magruder e Sean Donovan (che costituiscono la sezione ritmica) del progetto, modellano nell’eponimo Calla (Sub Rosa, 1999) melodie irreali che strisciano lentamente fuori dal loro fragile involucro. Tarantula Custom Car Crash June Only Drowning Men Truth About Robots
Scavengers (Young God, 2001), instead, has too much filler. While songs like Fear of Fireflies float in the same melodic ether of Bedhead, the core of Calla's slo-core (the lengthy Hover Over Nowhere, Tijerina, The Swarm) is spacey and subliminal, not merely atmospheric, halfway between Godspeed You Black Emperor and Low.

Custom (Quatermass, 2002) is a terrible remix album.

(Translation by/ Tradotto da Claudio Vespignani)

Scavengers (Young God 2001) invece, contiene troppi riempitivi. Mentre brani come Fear of fireflies fluttuano nello stesso etere melodico dei Bedhead, l'anima dello slo-core dei Calla (le lunghe Hover over nowhere, Tijerina, The swarm) e' spaziale e subliminale, non soltanto atmosferica, qualcosa a meta' fra i Godspeed you black emperor e i Low.

Custom (Quatermass, 2002) e` un orrendo album di remix.

Televise (Arena Rock, 2003) marks a return to form, although the brilliance of the debut album is still diluted in too many half-baked songs. Aurelio Valle's delivery helps several songs (the melancholy Don't Hold Your Breath, the sinister Strangler, the throbbing Monument the neurotic Televised) sound derivative of depressed post-punk rock of the 1980s (e.g., dark-punk), but Calla maintains a grip on its identity as an atmospheric combo devoted to cathartic self-vivisection.

Tenecke was Wayne Magruder's solo project that on Block Terrain (k2o, 2002) specialized in Tackhead-style industrial music.

(Translation by/ Tradotto da Luca Battistini)

Televise (Arena Rock, 2003) segna il ritorno dei Calla a buoni livelli, sebbene la brillantezza del debut album sia ancora diluita in troppe canzoni riuscite solo a meta'. Aurelio Valle aiuta diverse canzoni (la malinconica Don't Hold Your Breath, la sinistra Strangler, la pulsante Monument, la nevrotica Televised) ad assomigliare ad un derivato del post-punk rock depresso degli anni 80 (ad esempio, il dark-punk), ma i Calla mantengono il controllo sulla loro identita' di gruppo d'atmosfera devoto ad una auto-vivisezione catartica.

Collisions (Beggars Banquet, 2005) was influenced by the aching sensitivity of Coldplay, which became just a bit edgier in the hands of Calla's vocalist (This Better Go As Planned, So Far So What). The effervescent Swagger and the mildly psychedelic Stumble were the notable exceptions to a rather formulaic album of alt-rock a` la mode.

Strength In Numbers (Beggars Banquet, 2007) is either too intellectual for its own sake or too casually improvised. The result is a set of songs that seem like distractions rather than attractions, and only mildly related to the original Calla sound. Their atmospheric and moody noise-rock has been evolving in too many directions, none of them decisively seizing power.

(Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx)

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