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Saturday, August 11, 2012

Eargasms: Calabrese's Latest Release Keeps Punk Alive

Dayglo Necros is classic punk with a modern feel. Credit:
I first discovered the three siblings known as Calabrese (the trio's actual surname, BTW) back when everyone was using MySpace for their social networking needs. Remember that? No? Neither does anyone else at this point. Anyway, back then, the once mighty social networking site was a great way to discover brand new music, and that's how I came across the boys from Arizona. I was instantly attracted to the group thanks to their blend of rock and roll, good old fashioned punk rock and horror movie-style look/feel. The self-proclaimed "World's Greatest Horror Rock Band" has taken elements of bands like the Misfits (both in look and sound), Social Distortion, and the showmanship of Rob Zombie and blended them all into one nice package with a crisp sound that is sorely lacking in today's punk rock scene.

After hearing a bit of the band and picking up their debut album The Traveling Vampire Show, I was hooked. In case you didn't know, the Misfits are my all-time favorite band, and any band that is so obviously influenced by acts such as them is okay in my book, and Calabrese most definitely fits the bill. TVS was a great album, loaded top to bottom with awesome songs mixed in with classic clips from horror films and TV shows, and after listening to the album adnauseam, I couldn't wait until the follow up was released.

That time is now. Dayglo Necros was released on January 1st, and I had the pleasure of receiving a copy personally from the band. After listening to the entire album very carefully, it's safe to say that this follow-up blows the debut out of the water, and that's no small feat.

Don't get me wrong, TVS is still an unbelievably great album, but Necros just seems to have a little something extra to it. I can't quite put my finger on it, but there's something here TVS just didn't have. Regardless of what that may be, Necros is excellent. One major thing the boys in Calabrese seemed to have added this time around to their already awesome sound is a bit of a surf-rock feel. The first few songs, as well as the last couple, all kind of have a little Dick Dale and his Del-Tones or Reinging Monarchs feel to them, and there's certainly nothing wrong with that. The boys have already seamlessly blended punk and rock and roll, so why not add a third, highly under-appreciated genre to the mix?

The surf-rock is basically the bread in an all-rock sandwich, as the songs in the middle are straight punk rock, and they are excellent. Tracks 7 through 9 ("Darkhold", "Red Slash" and "Hungry are the Dogs", respectively) especially stand out in my mind, offering a nice seventies/eighties classic punk sound. While it's certainly hard to pick out any bad songs here (and I dare you to defy me), these and the closer-"Sea of Dirt" are the star tracks of the album.

If you're anything like me, you miss punk music the way it was. Bands like Good Charlotte and Fall Out Boy have completely disgraced the name of punk by putting out their audio fecal matter and dubbing it as such. Fortunately, there are still bands out there who believe in the original sound and spirit of punk, and with an album like Dayglo Necros, Calabrese could be potentially be the leaders of a brand new movement. Want to make it happen? Want to keep punk alive? Then do yourself a favor and buy this album.

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