Her Name Is Calla - The Quiet Lamb
A 75 minute album with twelve tracks? It must be post-rock o'clock. Her Name Is Calla managed to release an EP that was 50 minutes long a couple of years ago, so at least you can be assured of value of money if playing time is what you’re after.
There are songs with lyrics in, such as ‘A Blood Promise’, and ‘Homecoming’ but lead vocalist Tom Morris’ singing style lies uncomfortably close to that of Thom Yorke and (say it quietly!) Chris Martin and those efforts are largely forgettable and out of character with the better moments here.
Unfortunately, The Quiet Lamb is a bit of a slow-builder so on the first listen, you’re already over 20 minutes in before anything seems to happen and then ‘Condor and River’ oozes through. Reverberating bass is joined by drooling violins and synths which, for seemingly the first time on the album, reach the crescendo of howling feedback you might have expected earlier. Screaming guitars take over and the bass rejoins the drums in something reminiscent of the flashes of noise that Pink Floyd briefly showed on occasions. Seventeen minutes of chest-thumping elation that could have been stretched to double the length and still have been too short.
The collection takes a dip again before it reaches a three tune cycle to close under the banner of ‘The Union’ – “I Worship A Golden Sun’ has a simple structure to start with buzzing bass, thumping drums and finally Morris hits some notes that suit the backing. ‘Recidivist’ feels like standing in a lightning storm with squealing guitars and the rumbling of musical thunder and then we finish with pick of the bunch ‘Into The West’. Building from guitars and violins like the best Spaghetti Western, in comes a rhythm that pounds like a galloping horse and horns that transport you to dawn in a TexMex border town, where two gunslingers know that one of them will not hear the church bells strike midday.
Half of The Quiet Lamb is either insipid but the four tracks which do work make it an enjoyable experience nonetheless. Perhaps that’s the nature of the beast with post-rock but there’s certainly enough here to make you put the CD back on for another listen.