Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Album Reviews - Jason Collett, Caltrop

Jason Collett – Here’s to Begin Here
[Arts & Crafts; 05/02/2008]

Along with the rest of his band mates in the Broken Social Scene, Jason Collett likes to delve into the realms of solo material and his fifth album “Here’s to Begin Here” sees the Canadian artist in a more melodic arena.

There’s a hint of the Bob Dylan influence every now and then (most notably on ‘Out Of Time’), while melodically, Collett is at his finest, with the opener ‘Roll on Oblivion’ starting the album off in fine fashion.

Like his last album, “Idols Of Exile”, there are times where the album gets a little flat, but the iridescent song craft of ‘Nothing To Lose’ and the chilling lyrical pleas during ‘Not Over You’ pick things up prior to the albums conclusion.

With this being his most mature release to date, “Here’s to Being Here” sees Collett really coming into his own, musically and lyrically. Maybe things would be better served if Collett shaved the tracklist down by a couple of songs, but at the end of the day, you can blame a man for a lot of things, but productivity certainly isn’t one of them.

Caltrop - Caltrop
[Self Released; 2008]

If you take a snippet of the stoner caterwauls of Electric Wizard, the drone aesthetics of Boris and disjointed ethos of The Jesus Lizard, then the closest thing you’ll get is Chapel Hill, North Carolina quintet, Caltrop. Hell, you could even throw a bit of Sabbath in there for good measure, as well.

Their self-titled EP is a little preview of a forthcoming full-length, that’s expected to drop later on this year. ‘Dr. Motherfucker’ starts off with a stoner jam and a slew of drone, while ‘What Is Life Worth/What Is Cement Truck’ not only possess one of the most confusing song titles in the history of song titles (inspired by Godspeed You! Black Emperor, perhaps?), but the tune opens up like a musical dossier presenting all of the band’s influences in a rocking 10 minutes and eight seconds.

Not only is it good to see a rock ‘n’ roll band belting out “rock ‘n’ roll”, but a collective that wears their heart on their sleeves does more than stamp its purpose. You’ve jumped on the bandwagon; now get comfortable because later on this year it’s almost certain that Caltrop will create something that will blow your fucking head off.

By Simon

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