Caltrop: Ten Million Years and Eight Minutes – album review
Caltrop: Ten Million Years and Eight Minutes (Holidays For Quince Records)
Sludgy heavy rock band Caltrop released their latest album a few months ago & although it’s taken a while for us to get round to reviewing it this is definitely a case of “better late than never”.
The new album came out in march, a friend told me to check it out and I think you should listen to it. That’s why it’s here. That’s why I’m writing this.
This is a record to listen to with the windows wide open. Rain pouring down and a dark grey sky. It’s made in North Carolina but it’s roots are far away from there in the Black Country. In the concrete and dirty bricks of the Midlands. In the grooves of those timeless albums by Sabbath and Zeppelin. It sounds like it belongs in a creased cardboard sleeve with an unmentionable stain down it and imprints from a hundred rolling papers, clicking and spluttering as it goes around on the turntable. It is massive, loud and makes you want to stand up and scream.
The sound goes from delicate, melodic and free to loud, majestic and just bludgeoning. Yet there is a subtlety that you rarely find anymore in Metal and Rock. A wish to understate what we hear, a calmness that was understood years ago but now has slipped away sometimes.
The drums and bass create a solid bass for the sound to build on, steady and either understated while the guitar creates tunes over the top or heavy as a planet for the ear shredding riffs that fall down like slabs of concrete when the music gets harder. The vocals are nigh on perfect, strained, high and melodic without any screaming or grunting. Emotive and raw, they strain against the music and balance perfectly.
The shortest track is just under five minutes and the longest just over thirteen. These songs breath, they spread out and sprawl in your head, they are deceptively slow, the quietness is peaceful and light sometimes even delicate and very soft. When they go all out to make noise it makes just as much sense and sounds just as glorious.
This is Heavy heavy Rock moving forward with an eye on past glories but knowing that the best is ahead on up the road.
Caltrop’s Website is here.
All words by Adrian Bloxham. You can read more from Adrian on LTW here.