Darker, more foreboding + just as impressive as Rhinoceros
Adam England
11:24 18th August 2021

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The riffs are meatier, the bass is punchier, and the drums more ferocious on Calva Louise's new album Euphoric. The trio have grown from the indie-punk on their debut Rhinoceros to something darker and more foreboding—but just as impressive. 

Something of a concept album inspired by sci-fi and graphic novels, Euphoric feels more urgent than the trio’s previous material. At times, it takes on a heavier tone that brings to mind the industrial and nu-metal stylings of Grimes’ Miss Anthropocene and Enter Shikari’s apocalyptic electronicore. 

Much has been made of the band’s international origins, with frontwoman Jess Allanic, bassist Alizon Taho and drummer Ben Parker being from Venezuela, France and New Zealand respectively, and it’s something that’s explored further on Euphoric. With thirteen songs varying in length, it’s a comprehensive body of work, and opening with 'Free To Be Lost' is very much an emphatic statement of intent from Calva Louise: it feels like a thunderstorm in music form, Allanic’s high-pitched vocals the perfect partner to the explosive music.

The intimidating, no-nonsense bassline and lyrics of “I don’t need anybody to tell me to put my head down” follow on the sleek, polished rock of 'Hunting' which packs plenty of explosive energy into its two and a half minutes.

Allanic often sings in Spanish, and while that was something that she dabbled in previously with ‘No Hay’ on Rhinoceros, it comes to the fore more often here. Take Tiranito, which combines Spanish with an almost Arabic-sounding riff or the one-two sucker punch of Belicoso' and 'Alcanzar', combining effortlessly cool Latin flair with a hefty dose of heavy, electronic rock. 

Whether it’s the mathy pop-punk of ‘Other Self’ or the synth-rock of ‘POP(urrí), Calva Louise constantly engage on Euphoric, changing things up to keep it exciting. There’s a different feel here when compared to Rhinoceros, but it’s at least as good as its predecessor, and flows better for good measure too.

Euphoric arrives 20 August via FRKST Records/300 Entertainment.

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