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Calico System’s latest release is held strong by a massive twin guitar assault that triumphantly propels the 10-tracks on THEY LIVE onto another level. Masterfully melding the sing/scream style by equally doling out the gut wrenching yowls and lighter-waving choral sing-alongs while interchanging guitars from the ominous chug found in “The Apparition” to the bouncy screamo punk on “In Our Way”, this quintet’s versatility and ability is impressive. Capable of plugging in numerous styles without forcing circles into squares, Poison the Well’s ire and Thrice’s uncanny melodic side turn up on “A Heap of Broken Images”, while the title track’s burly vocals, bruising guitars, and breakneck rhythm stand up next to any tough guy breakdown hardcore tune. A solid offering from top to bottom, this St. Louis act put together a release whose shocking tenderness and torrential tumultuousness should turn a lot of heads.
- Mike SOS