Calla Strength In Numbers

Calla have come a long way since their 1998 self-titled debut and that might not be a good thing. Slowly over the years, they’ve shifted their sound towards everyone else’s, losing that something that made them stand out from the crowd. But thankfully, their fifth album has addressed some of those issues. Strength In Numbers sees, in part, the band return to the darkly brooding sound that made their early albums so appealing. The missteps of trying to fit into the burgeoning New York scene are long behind them and they have shifted back to a style that’s more comfortable for both band and listener. It isn’t a perfect record by any means though. When the band try too hard, like on opening track "Sanctify,” they come across like a more lethargic Nine Inch Nails, whereas the slow building "Dancers In The Dust” is more satisfying, thanks to its growling atmospherics. Plus, over the duration of 13 songs the band’s knack of making most of their tracks sound very similar is exposed as a bit of a weakness. Yet there is something about their bleak dirges that is surprisingly compelling, and that is what will keep folks coming back for more. So it seems that Calla are a band worth rediscovering again. (Beggars Banquet)