Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Kalamata - 'You' (Album Review)

By: Chris Tedor

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 21/09/2015
Label: Pink Tank Records



Channelling the sounds of 70's space rock and the 80's/90's underground stoner/doom scene, they cover an exciting amount of ground and seamlessly fuse their influences into an intense journey.  What really impresses me about these guys is that they just started a year ago, which is a great sign.  A band who’s sound is this fully realized, this early on,  should move from being really good to exceptional.


“You” LP  track listing:

1). You (07:04)
2). Have (06:33)
3). To (07:17)
4). Die (07:36)
5). Soon (03:57)
6). Mother (03:31)
7). Fucker (07:14)

Kalamata is

Guitar | Peter Jaun
Bass | Maik Blümke
Drums | Olly Opitz


The Review:

Hildesheim Germany's Kalamata come blasting out and taking off with their first release “You.” Channelling the sounds of 70's space rock and the 80's/90's underground stoner/doom scene, they cover an exciting amount of ground and seamlessly fuse their influences into an intense journey and confirming our hatred of Europe for having cooler new bands than us. On to the review!

A long open lead line with just a bit of slap back delay begins the first track “You” while setting the tone for the rest of the album. Preparing you for when the rest of the band kicks in full gear. It's pretty cool song writing how Kalamata waits to kick the drums in after the rest of the band comes in heavy giving them that much more impact when they hit. The highlight of this track is the guitar solo which is a wah drenched tonefest with some tasteful playing.

The second track “Have” begins with a huge opening section which reminds me of a lower tempo “Age of Winters” era The Sword a bit. Dropping into the slow burning groove that dominates the rest of the song with some nice melodic guitar work. What brings this track together is an interesting tremelo picked lead guitar on the chorus which is not something often heard in stoner/psych instrumentals but really fits the mood.

The third track “To” opens with a riff that reminds me of some of Joe Walsh's slower tempo work on the James Gang's seminal 1970 album “James Gang Rides Again.” This is my favourite track on the album as it moves through some cool dynamic changes, starting with a very 70s vibe and moving into a heavier Kyuss-esque section. The song writing on this track is very smooth as all the parts flow together particularly well.

The fourth track “Die” starts with a deep drum and bass groove setting a nice mood for the rest of the track. Ripping into a short open section with splashy chords and some nice bends. The plodding riff right before the guitar only break in the middle of the song, is a really cool transition which touches on some more unexpected influences (King Crimson's Red perhaps?). These little dynamic cool sections are the rug that really tie these songs together and prevent “You” from falling into the common pitfalls that instrumental albums make, everything sounding the same.

The fifth track is a strange left turn in riffing, channelling some early 80s doom riffs and alternating with some interesting chromatic bass lines under some dissonant guitar chords. This is the song where you can really hear the King Crimson influence they list on their facebook page with some of the crazy fun style changes.

Mother,” the second to last track, is the most rocking of the songs with a heavy 70s hard rock four on the floor feel. The wah infused guitar on the bridge is a really fun section. This is the shortest track on the album and it ends a bit abruptly and feels like it could be a little bit longer.

Closing the album, “Fucker” starts with a doomy opener over stomping drums. This is the most open feeling and doomiest song on the album. They don't quite reach Electric Wizard level of doom but this is a solid track and relies heavily on some nice rhythm section playing and the bass sounds noticeably fuzzier. I feel like I should mention here, that to non-musician's it might seem weird to compliment the rhythm section on the lowest tempo and least busy song on the album, but in a lot of ways being able to swing a slower tempo and make your fills propel the song without muddying the groove can be just as difficult as shredding, and Kalamata exhibit some very tasteful choices throughout. Also the bass seems fuzzier and less overdriven on this track and as anyone who is going to read this site agrees. MORE FUZZ = BETTER.

My only real critique of the tracks is that parts of the drum kit could be a touch higher, particularly the cymbals and occasionally the kick drum, as they seem to be noticeably quieter than the rest of the kit during some sections, and the fuzz bass would probably benefit from being fuzzier and less overdriven in parts. That being said there is some great musicianship on this album particularly in the guitar work and tone department. What really impresses me about these guys is that they just started a year ago, which is a great sign.  A band who’s sound is this fully realized, this early on,  should move from being really good to exceptional.

FFO: King Crimson, Kyuss,

Vinyl info:

300 copies total
75 copies blood red incl. Poster and Download Code ( Pink Tank exclusive edition)
100 copies opaque white incl. Poster and Download code (Band exclusive edition)
100 copies standard black

All on 180g high quality Vinyl pressed in Germany
350g heavyweight Cover
Poly lined inner sleeve

Early Bird pre-order for the limited Edition is online:

Pink Tank exclusive Edition

Standard Edition
 


 


Band info: Bandcamp | facebook

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