Occupying both the garage and the temple, Calla are at once dissonant and pristine, harmonious and rhythmic. They cling to the dirty residues of NYC with an attention always affixed upward to cosmopolitan refinement. A fact perhaps explained by the group's roots in Texas and their emigration to Brooklyn.
Unlike most of their contemporaries, Aurelio Valle (guitar/vocals), Wayne Magruder (drums/programming/percussion) and Sean Donovan (keyboard/bass/programming) understand the way in which the dirtiness of rock intersects the world of high art.
From their 1999 self-titled debut (Sub Rosa) to 2001's SCAVENGERS (Young God), Calla drew upon this understanding. Not wishing to rest on their existing answers, their third release and first for the Arena Rock Recording Co and Ryko, TELEVISE pushes harshly against complacency with stunning sophistication. The music allows avant gestures to collapse into supple pop while catapulting their dark breathless aggression into a furious swelling of feedback. This is the moment when the curtains are opened and light floods the room.
Calla's shows are some of the most anticipated in New York. It is impossible to watch them perform without becoming transfixed on the intensity of its presentation. Angular guitars bend across thick bass lines; weightless electronics become pulled into the harsh simplicity of minimalist percussion; Aurelio's fragile voice rises boldly against the torrents of expressive noise. It is for this reason that artists like Nick Cave, godspeed you black emperor! and Sigur Ros have been eager to perform with them.
Picked by Alternative Press as "the number one band to watch", lauded by the New York Times, remixed by the brightest electronic experimentalists on 2002's CUSTOM: THE REMIX PROJECT, Calla are unquestionably a band whose work will be dissected and reevaluated long after their beautiful static energy burns away.
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