Calva Louise – ‘Rhinoceros’ | Album Review

Calva Louise prove their Quality with Debut Album ‘Rhinoceros’

We’ve seen quite a few impressive punk debuts being released over the past couple of years from the likes of IDLES, The Blinders and Shame – and Rhinoceros, from Manchester trio Calva Louise, is the next one up to continue the trend. Their energetic guitars and powerful vocals have just as much in common with the likes of Dream Wife and Sløtface however, meaning that the band fit right into this burgeoning punk scene.

There’s an instant familiarity. When five of the first six tracks – out of ten altogether – on an album are already available on Spotify, that’s pretty much a given. But then, it’s imperative that the remainder of the album draws you in. Thankfully, it lives up to the hype of the singles. It’s not an easy task to pin down the overall sound of the record, but the phrase ‘lo-fi noise-pop punk fuzz’ should convey over at least something of an idea.

Fans will already be well acquainted with ‘Tug of War’ but it remains one of their best songs. It’s the same story with ‘Getting Closer’, which provides perhaps the stand-out moment of the album; Jess Allinic’s vocals start off more melodious as she sings “I feel a little low now/climbing to slide” before shouting “down” with unprecedented wrath. As the song takes a momentary turn into a furious punk territory.

No Hay’, sung in Spanish, is a departure from the high-energy style of most of the album. More garage-pop than garage-punk, it bears similarities to Hinds and The Orielles. All that time you spent in Year 10 telling your GCSE Spanish teacher that you like to play guitar and go to the cinema con mis amigos, you could have just been listening to Calva Louise instead.

Culminating the record with more previously unreleased tracks, Calva Louise show no signs of retreating. With ‘Cruel Girl’, Calva Louise once again up the tempo, while ‘Out Of Use’ is one of the strongest album closers in some time. Sandwiched between the two is ‘Down The Stream’, the closest thing to a power ballad on the tracklist. It’s the weakest track on the album, but perhaps with more mainstream potential. Don’t let this take away from the quality of Rhinoceros though – Calva Louise really means business.

4/5

Words By Adam England

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