Album review: Calva Louise

Calva Louise - Rhinoceros (Modern Sky)

Calva Louise  are Ben Parker, Jess Eastwood, and Alizon Taho.

Calva Louise are Ben Parker, Jess Eastwood, and Alizon Taho.

IT MAY be housed inside one of the most terrible album sleeves in living memory, but past the ghastly graphics lies a 30 minute treat of 10 fast and furious indie-pop/garage-rock songs.

Calva Louise - Jess Allanic (guitar/vocals ), Alizon Taho (bass ), and Ben Parker (drummer ) - are the sound of six straight caramel latte and cappuccinos coursing through an already over-sugared bloodstream. And, it's not many bands who would quote Depeche Mode and Samuel Beckett within the space of two songs, while naming their album after a 1959 play by Eugene Ionesco.

'Tug Of War' very deliberately quotes 'Enjoy The Silence' but quickly reveals itself to be its own beast, with quiet/loud dynamics clashing against fizzy, psychedelic pop, and vocals which go between dreamy and urgent. Those qualities are channelled even more effectively on closing track, 'Out Of Use', which builds to a thrilling vocal/guitar driven climax; and on 'Outrageous', where "Ever tried, ever failied, Fail again. Fail Better" from Beckett's Worstward Ho, sounds utterly in context, a declaration of determination and defiance, becoming a hight point of the song.

Rhinoceros's frenzied, technicolour, bubble-gum indie takes a few listens to settle into the psyche, but perseverance will reveal an album of quirky, infectious, melody; energising vocal harmonies; clever, off-kilter pop, and, at times, a surprising emotional depth.

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