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Calla Strength in Numbers

  • Words: Melanie Chen
  • Label: Beggars Banquet
  • XLR8R Rating: 8/10

After eight years weathering NYC's punishing rock scene, Calla's dark indie rock feels as fresh as ever. Strength in Numbers takes inviting strides towards mass appeal: pretty, ethereal notes help temper Calla's blistering guitars and despondent vocals, tapping into something rugged and forlorn. Aurelio Valle's breathy tones add a sensual touch to his band's brooding moods ("Malicious Manner"), while Strength's catchiest tune, "Simone," is Calla's most Snow Patrol-esque-a big, showy ballad, rife with noisy guitar and exuberant energy, showing why sometimes, aiming at the masses can be the most creative option of all.

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