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Calculator - CALC

Apoch_Weiss   (135 reviews)

Posted: 03/03/2015 | Comments: 0 | Rate:

Calculator is, well, was, a Bay Area cross between Alternative Rock and Punk Rock that sometimes dabbled in Hardcore and even some Emo from time to time it seems. The five-piece from Los Angeles, California came together in 2012. Sometime earlier this year, or late 2014, apparently had split up, making it official with their last show on their home turf on January third of this year. In the time they were as group, they issued a sold-out full-length, which has since been repressed, as well as a split with bands Itto, Capacities, and Innards that the group urges fans to not buy, but download through a link on their website. However, prior to departing, they issued a brand new two song EP, titled CALC, which has been made available through their official Bandcamp account. But is it worth exploring, or is their final recording their most damning?

Well, CALC overall has a bit of a modern D.I.Y. touch, which causes a good deal of noise (not to be confused with distortion) over the guitars during the heavier moments, and the nasal clean singing ends up a bit buried in the mix thanks to it. Of course the rich bass guitar presence and louder drums that sometimes becomes a bit obnoxious definitely don't help with that. While the final product leaves you kind of sifting through the mess, if you can sort out the noise from music, what you are greeted with honestly isn't that bad.

"North by Northwest" has some infectious hooks when the pace slows down, and even the heavier Hardcore material has a decent amount of bite to it, not to mention a solid amount of energy that can be felt all around. In a way, it's like listening to a male version of Jack Off Jill, but with a little more attitude thrown about. But then there's "Graduation Day", which sounds more like a noisier version of Radiohead's hit "Creep" at times, having just enough emotion to the hooks to share the same sensations amid the Nirvana-esque Grunge filthiness.

For a parting gift, CALC isn't bad, but the amount of noise really makes it hard to truly enjoy what the band is trying to do here. CALC is catchy, though the latter seems more like something that will be a hit-or-miss performance for fans of the lighter side of Alternative and Punk Rock. There isn't anything too unique, and, really, it sounds like a lot of what you'll hear on mainstream modern Rock radio, just with a far rougher audio quality overall. If you're into any of the band's mentioned, maybe even some Puddle of Mudd or Weezer, this might tickle your fancy. Other than that, you're best to let this one fade away.

Review also available at Apoch's Metal Review.

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