February 23, 2009

Review: Calories | Adventuring

Brevity: Birmingham, England-based power trio Calories has it. The act's music is so tightly compacted that even the verses play like choruses, and its entire debut set Adventuring is done almost as soon as it begins. On Adventuring, due March 9, Calories delivers a brisk, exuberant collection of 10 tunes that clocks in at a breathless 23 minutes. All the songs are singalong-able, everything is anthemic and everything rocks.

Calories has been streaming new tracks at its MySpace garage for months, namely the lead track "A Bear, A Bison," "To Encounter A Deer" and the title cut. Spirited fist-bangers all, driven by bassist Pete Dixon's affecting bark, but the trio has kept some cards up its six sleeves. The punishing push and pull of "Caught In The In-Between" -- which recalls the finer early work of '90s D.C. post-hardcore standard bearers Jawbox -- is the most exciting track on Adventuring. The Jawbox reference may not be terribly off the mark, considering the slate of influences at Calories' MySpace reads like a who's who of the American underground of the last 20 years, including Jawbox contemporaries Shudder To Think (whose Get Your Goat album is exceptional), as well as Blonde Redhead, Polvo and Don Caballero. "(See You On The Expedition)," another highlight, rocks very convincingly in 3/4 time.

Adventuring is available for pre-order now right here; fans who pre-order the collection will also receive a bonus handmade CDR containing 26 tracks (!!!) of demos and extras, as well as a digital sampler from the label. All of which makes the 8 pounds sterling sticker price well worth it in our opinion. Calories embark on a short tour supporting Glaswegian indie phenoms Dananananaykroyd March 26, and you can inspect the trio's full itinerary at its aforementioned MySpace. There's no preview MP3 to be had for Adventuring, which is a shame, but we think you'll enjoy the non-album track "Drink The Potion," a live video of which is linked below. Word from the Calories camp is that the tune was written about a month or so after Adventuring was recorded, and it is likely going to be on the trio's next record, which could be tracked later this year. As a sidenote, we'll point out that only recently have we gotten our hands on Calories-predecessor Distophia's absurdly good but never released masterwork Beat Dyslexia. If you do not have this record you should hunt it down with extreme prejudice. It's exceptional, and we're posting the amazing cut "Children Know The Score" below with the hopes that some day the set might get a proper commercial release. Finally, you may recall Calories helped us relaunch our Show Us Yours feature a month ago; here's a link to that.

Calories -- "Drink The Potion" [YouTube]
Distophia -- "Children Know The Score [.m4a]" -- Beat Dyslexia
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[buy Distophia records at MusicStack here]

Calories: Internerds | MySpace | YouTube | Flickr

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