This Calamity

I'll Paint You A Picture If You Promise To Put It Up

Written by: DR on 30/07/2012 13:53:54

A few weeks ago I covered the debut EP from This Calamity, a group out of Plymouth, fronted by Martyn Crocker. Though there were some interesting things happening musically, I wasn't particularly impressed by his performance as vocalist/lyricist, and felt it was ultimately the downfall of the release. The follow-up, "I'll Paint You A Picture If You Promise To Put It Up", not only sees This Calamity beginning to find their feet as song-writers, but beginning to flaunt potential I wasn't really hearing on "Animals".

Opener "I'll Paint You A Picture" is a progressive number, and sets this release off on a strong foot as the instrumentation is a melting pot of ideas. Moreover, though some progress has been made since "Animals" in terms of technical ability, the vocals at least a lot more affecting because the lyrics are more personal. Thus far, This Calamity seem to thrive on creating creative musicianship by throwing numerous influences into a song, making the simple folk efforts "Moving Away" and "Bottle Rocket" surprise numbers. However, the simplicity of not only the musicianship but the lyrics grounds This Calamity, and this honest, simple, revealing nature make them instantly likeable efforts.

These brief ventures into simpler waters are impressive, but the finest moments of "I'll Paint..." are the progressive numbers. The off-kilter drumming maintained through the opening track is the perfect backdrop on which layers of pianos, bass and guitars, and their effects, are constructed with a great deal of freedom. "In Need Of An Exit Strategy", the centre-piece of the album, has the build up of an epic; the muted guitar tones, airy vocals and interesting lyrics create tension - threatening to build up to a massive crescendo. The crescendo never arrives - and that's the point: The tease is what makes the song so exciting. However, the final minute couple of minutes are tribal-ish drumming and seem awfully out of place considering the brilliance of the first four and a half minutes.

It's hard to not be impressed by the ear that This Calamity have for compositions. By trying to steer away from conventional song structures, using layers upon layers of instrumentation that all add to the overall atmosphere of the songs, the soundscapes This Calamity create are almost on their way to being Radiohead-ish. Before this album I had my doubts, but now I'm convinced of This Calamity's potential. "In Need Of An Exit Strategy" sums up this album, because the first four and a half minutes show a band with an enormous amount of potential, and the final two minutes show the other side, of a band who haven't quite yet worked out what to do with it. It's certainly going to be an exciting future for This Calamity, though, and one worth keeping an eye on.


Download: In Need Of An Exit Strategy, I'll Paint You A Picture
For The Fans of: Radiohead, Death Cab For Cutie, Anthony Green, Charlie Simpson (maybe?)
Listen: Facebook

Release Date 17.06.2012

Related Items | How we score?
comments powered by Disqus


© Copyright MMXXI