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Susan Frances 08/22/08 07:25 PM

Calabria - Calabria EP
Calabria - Calabria EP
Record Label: Spy Funk Records
Release Date: August 13, 2008

Have you ever noticed how Spanish accents in a song always make it sound so much prettier? Now imagine a band who puts that Spanish zest in hardcore tunage, and that just about describes what San Diego’s new rock quartet Calabria does to their songs. The foursome recently released their self-titled EP which can be heard on their Myspace site, and they are looking forward to bringing their full-length album to audiences soon. The lead vocals of Tyler Monk may remind you of the theatrical inflections that System of a Down’s lead singer Serj Tankian puts in his vocal melodies, as Monk’s sinewy lines move with the ease of a merman through ocean waters. The creases and crimping in the guitar chords by Pete Horn are tightly secured by the latches made by bassist Jungle and drummer Dr. Dave Palmer. Calabria’s EP is one of those records that may pique your interest and leave you hoping that the band has more in store for audiences.

“Scathe” sets a romantic ambience with Spanish flares woven into the hardcore bulwark as Monk‘s vocals fly across the melodic folds stirring sensations as he purrs, “I see you when I dream / And when I wake / In a puddle of sweat and tears / And who knows what else / As I weigh heavily on the levity / Your aura has become my addiction.” The rocky slopes made along “Formula” are sharply hewn showing alert reflexes and ministrations in the band‘s playing. The cooling acoustics of “Headspace” are coaled in soft rock strokes held up by sturdy trestles liken to Shinedown, while the softcore bronzing of “Anthropic Principle” thicken the crackling beats and guitar cinders to whirlwind flames. The acoustic guitar rings along “Born in You” are beautifully wrapped in Monk’s vocals as the airy string arrangements pour in slowly and modestly with slight synth effects sprinkled across the bridge of the tune. The EP closes with the raging hardcore-infused torrents of “Earthrising” kicking up ferocious guitar spins and speeding up the rhythmic thuds.

Calabria reveal very little about themselves on their Myspace site or their official website, preferring to shroud themselves in humor. They are a band with few words and evade answering most questions, but their EP is as good as a major label production. Whatever got them to this point of musicianship is based in hard work, not goofing off, although if you read their blogs, you probably won’t believe me.

Recommended if you like: System of a Down, Shinedown, Saliva