Friday, February 20, 2009

Skitzo Calypso-Burning down an empire


I always get kind of excited when I get to review a CD from a band from my area. It's even more exciting and satisfying when the band in question is actually worthwhile. Fortunately that is definitely the case with Baltimore's Skitzo Calypso. The band pulls in elements of metal, hard rock, and pop and then swirl them together while keeping everything in motion like some sort of windmill. It's not about how many styles you throw into the mix though. It's about what the band does with them, the strength of the arrangements and how well they put these tools to use. They handle the various sounds well as they manage change their approach frequently but still make it sound like a natural progression. Now there are a few songs where they begin with a strong, hard riff and then go into some softer melodies, but yet they fail to blend the two styles. That's a shame because they also do manage to merge the melodies with some heavy bursts on numerous songs. When they get the two sides together that is where this band really excels. It's also where they seem very comfortable and they just build their energy level up. However there are times where they sound like they are trying to force something that is just not there. They fare much better when they just keep moving along. The vocals are decent, but not quite as consistent as the music. Again when the music is chugging along then the vocals tend to go along and elevate to the next level. When the vocals become the focus there is a tendency to sound very one-dimensional. Still this is a mighty effort with good results for the listener and I think that this band's skill is growing as well.

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