UpCDownC – Calaveras

Go to UpCDownC’s Facebook page and they say that their brand of music is “Mainly instrumental rock.” Whilst for the most part this is a true statement, this new album by the Kent 4-piece, has so much more to offer than just instrumental rock.

You see it also offers confusion, long, nearing nine-minute songs that should have stopped at four, and yet there are also sparks of brilliance within its walls.

Calaveras, the bands fourth studio offering, is not a usual purchase. Instead it is a genre-bending mind fuck of an album that is more confusing than Noel Fielding’s gender. Starting with the math-rock, electro beats of ‘Sky Net’ at first glance the album appears to be heading in the 65DOS direction.

Then comes second song ‘Sons Of The Desert’, which combines slow and sludgy riffs with soft vocals, before unleashing a progressive metal finish reminiscent of Mastodon, laying waste to your previous conceptions of where the hell this album is going.

Then there’s ‘Roman Horses’ which is where the bewilderment peaks, as a slow, acoustic guitar makes way for a dabble in melodious and soothing indie rock, again banishing any thoughts you had about the albums progression and ultimately baffling your ears even more.

This album is all over the place and whilst some tracks like the bruising ‘Wolves in the Walls’ and the math rock, synth affair ‘Spectral Fires’ are strokes of genius, for the most part Calaveras is too messy and too sporadic to ever really engage with.

Original article first appeared on Vibrations website on 22/01/12