This Calamity

Animals EP

Written by: DR on 17/06/2012 20:15:33

This Calamity are from Plymouth, England, and "Animals" is their debut EP. A quick clance at their listed influences on their Facebook page makes for a mildly interesting read, but it also allows you to understand what's gone into This Calamity more, and perhaps the niche their sound has found for itself.

The influences range from the indie sounds of Death Cab For Cutie, to the emotive acoustic rock of Dashboard Confessional, to the quirky pop of Bjork, to the folky sounds of Neutral Milk Hotel, and you can even hear a vague influence from Jesse Lacey of Brand New. As a result, "Animals" has a sound that's fairly hard to place, landing somewhere between alternative, folk, and pop. In this regard, This Calamity have created something interesting that would probably appeal to a wider demographic - if only the execution of the ideas was better.

Starting with what This Calamity do well, the instrumentation is solid. As aforementioned, the wide array of influences is cleverly blended together to create soundscapes that are at once familiar and fresh, so even though you may be roped into the dreamy pop sensiblities of "Be Near Me Now", it still reveals and rewards over multiple listens.

However, where This Calamity fall down is the performance of Martyn Crocker. Ironically, This Calamity is the brainchild of Crocker, yet his vocals and lyrics are actually the weakest part of "Animals". His vocals are bland and uninspired, sounding as though he has no real emotional connection with the lyrics. Moreover, the lyrics - the pseudo-epic lyrics - such as "I haven't always tried my best, and I'm so shit-scared of death", "It's not like I've got an infinite number of years", and "The only thing that makes me sad is the fact that I'll be gone before we get the chance to spend forever together" never once ring true with the listener.

This three-song EP is meant to serve as an introduction to This Calamity, a little teaser of what's to come, but, while there's nothing downright terrible about "Animals", there's also nothing worth getting excited about. The instrumentation is decent, and the sound is fairly inventive, but underneath the platitudes and cold singing, "Animals" lacks any real emotion.

Download: free download
For The Fans of: Dashboard Confessional, Death Cab For Cutie
Listen: Myspace

Release Date 07.11.2011

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