Swirly kaleidoscopic pop encapsulates you in a hazy rock bubble, undertones of punk seeping through the dreamy shell that Calva Louise have so meticulously crafted with their debut album. Entitled Rhinoceros, the album is a power house, a combination of previously released singles, old remastered tracks, and innovative new ones. The album is eclectic to say the least, subtle genres swirling in and out of each track, flitting from crafty indie pop, to more twisted ecstatic punk.
I first saw this band about two years ago, playing a tiny all dayer at the punk hub that is the Windmill in Brixton, first seeing Jess herself when she played alongside Wonk Unit, supporting Slaves in Camden. The growth of the band since 2016 has been so incredibly special, their sound maturing and growing in a very interesting direction. With Rhinoceros, Jess, Ben and Alizon were faced with the challenge of creating an album with its roots planted in punk, yet still with the aptitude to grow into a more indie pop sounding record – to create something well produced and crafted, yet still retaining the DIY authenticity which established their adoring fan base in the first place. And what they have created is truly spectacular – we see a fusion of genres, and in turn influences, which has built their debut into a blinding monster of an album.
It opens up with catchy, witty pop tune I Heard A Cry, leading nicely into previously released singles I’m Gonna Do Well, Tug Of War, and Getting Closer, tracks two and four respectively being storming punk tracks, scathing with a snarly vivacity. In complete contrast, No Hay and Down the Stream embed a more subtle, almost acoustic lightness into the album, delicately balancing out the savageness of the first half of the album. For me personally, it’s the last few tracks on the album which really are magical. Wondertale and Cruel Girl are packed with scatty buzzsaw riffs, the craft of Jess on lead and Alizon on bass creating a bubbling electricity. Ben’s drumming is particularly prominent on Cruel Girl too – this track would have to be my favourite on the album, my love for it coming right down to the scathing grit behind Jess’s vocal and the blinding riff throughout, which loops round and round in a crazily infectious manner
It’s so refreshing to have bands like Calva Louise releasing music into the messy stratosphere that is the concept of ‘post-punk,’ particularly as they are building on the success of prominent bands last year, such as Shame, Goat Girl and The Blinders. The album is a fun, raucous adventure to listen to, and the band’s sound has rounded itself into an authentic, daring one. A true homage to what punk fans want, and what the indie industry needs
Purchase/ stream here: https://www.musicglue.com/calvalouise/