Review: Her Name Is Calla – ‘Maw’ (Denovali)

Posted: May 5, 2011 in Reviews
Tags: ,

Her Name Is Calla stock rose considerably via their brilliant debut LP ‘The Quiet Lamb’ late last year. So too did their reputation for heightened melodrama and darkly melancholic songs.  The title track (featured in the video below) on this 10″ vinyl limited edition single is arguably a response to those who claim their music is just too bleak.

It’s a stomping number, the most succinct thing they’ve issued since ‘A Moment of Clarity’ and forcefully gets its point across cramming a fast-paced groove, searing guitar and Tom Morris’ towering falsetto amidst some heroic brass and string arrangements, into its short time span. There’s nothing wrong with a band broadening their horizons and ‘Maw’ certainly packs an impressive punch.

Less is assuredly more, however, on next track ‘The Beat That My Heart Skipped’, a mournful shuffle with gorgeous violin and sombre vocals and harmonies.  A beautiful song indeed, where it should be noted that being ‘melancholic’, for want of a better word, is one of the several aspects that this quintet excels at.

This notion is further enhanced on final song ‘Dreamlands’, a Prog-like number split into several segments that reminds of Shearwater at points, while harking back to the more grandiose concepts on ‘The Quiet Lamb’.  It’s not only the best track on here, but one of the best pieces of music they’ve ever written, with it’s fore-boding acoustic introduction, brooding but cathartic middle and its folky, enchanting end interspersed with spine-tingling harmonies, heart-broken string segments and grainy, electronic static.

A cleansing release for the band perhaps, but one that sees them shed those inhibiting post-rock tags, while whetting the appetite for the possibilities of their next album.


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