Calibos – S/T


Calibos are trying to make music without bass, putting an equal emphasis on vocals, guitar and drums. In fact, all three members of this band play guitar (the drummer contributing on one song). You don’t really notice the missing bass because of the lively drumwork and the layered guitars. At times, however, these songs do sound like they need something else to fill them out. I don’t say bass would be the answer, but this band isn’t doing anything that would be hurt with the addition of a bass. Basically, these are some poppy-rock songs with some nice rhythm, layered guitars, and some similarly layered vocals. Good songs that definitely show promise.
“Offsides” is carried by a repetitive but powerful drumbeat, moving the song along at the perfect pace. The guitars are layered underneath the rhythm and mixed with the vocals for a nice effect. “Locust Ballet” is a more somber instrumental with more of an emphasis on melody, although it does pick up the pace and the power in a few places. “Forth and I” is probably the strongest track on the album, with a sonic wall of layered guitars and vocals that lend a somewhat droning effect. “Station” has some nice rhythm and a nice guitar line, but the repetition of the vocals and riffs do get a bit annoying. “Draft” is another instrumental, but the use of keyboards to provide some backing layering and the sonic warbling guitars combined with more melodic guitar make this another strong track. I like “Against the Coast” also, with its bass-heavy drums and more droning vocals. “Bald Fountain” sounds nice, the music poppy and moving, but again there’s a repetition of a few main riffs and beats. “Future Autobiography” is even more droning, and “Albion” finishes things off with a more melodic, bell-filled track, with the vocals kicking in late and sounding muzzed out.
Calibos have a nice way of using layered guitars and prominent rhythm to craft some strong pop-rock songs. Vocals aren’t the focal point here, but they contribute nicely. I think the band is stronger with the more melodic instrumentals. It does seem that something is lacking, perhaps to be made up on the band’s next effort. And they do rely on repetition a bit too much for my taste. But it’s a good first showing from this band with some excellent songs.