The Calico Brothers: Tell It To The Sun (Double Happy)

 |   |  1 min read

The Calico Brothers: Always Said I'd Do
The Calico Brothers: Tell It To The Sun (Double Happy)

These "brothers" from Auckland got a nice notice at Elsewhere for their debut EP God Left Town noting however that they seemed an amusing sum of influences such as the Traveling Wilburys (with Lennon not Orbison in the line-up), strum'n'sing Tom Petty and so on.

Here those influences are slightly tempered -- although in the case of Is There Anyone There? they've borrowed so heavily from Crowded House's balladry you might find yourself checking the writing credit. (Although I doubt Neil Finn would namecheck alt.rock power pop outfit Redd Kross.)

It is very hard to dislike a band that is as melody-conscious as the alt.country folk-pop Calico Brothers, but you aren't going to throw accusations of originality at some of these songs, lovely though they may be.

That said, they the do push themselves beyond the musical reference points from that EP: Up for Air may be a bit too Lennonesque for comfort but it stands on its own merits, as does the moody-then-menacing Always Said I'd Do which is the most interesting song here alongside the extended closer Could Not Be More Wrong which really does suggest a highly profitable country-rock direction (like a Lennonesque-country flavoured Neil Halstead/Slowdive).

The title track is a winner and the country pop of Got To Get on Getting Over You is quietly convincing. The brief Lost on the Motorway is the sleeper.

The Calico Brothers may not care to go past the style they have adopted and they sure do it well, but where that debut was interesting as a starting point you'd have hoped more of this might have seen them stretch themselves.

Gotta say though, they are much more interesting lyric writers than the Wilburys (Dylan's Tweeter excepted) and recent Tom Petty. And for that we thank them. 

A grower. 

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Primus: Green Naugahyde (Prawn/Southbound)

Primus: Green Naugahyde (Prawn/Southbound)

After almost a decade with no new material it's a surprise to find California indie-rockers Primus (who did the original theme to South Park) still around. But on this typically edgy, odd... > Read more

Carrie Rodriguez: Seven Angels on a Bicycle (EMI)

Carrie Rodriguez: Seven Angels on a Bicycle (EMI)

This album came out late last year but went largely ignored, even by me until I discovered it in a pile recently. And I'm very glad I did. Probably only known for her singing and fiddle... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE BARGAIN BUY: Terry Reid; Original Album Series

THE BARGAIN BUY: Terry Reid; Original Album Series

Because Elsewhere recently essayed the life and work of this British guitar-singer cult figure -- prompted by the release of material recorded at the time of his River album in '73 -- we are... > Read more

EPs by Yasmin Brown

EPs by Yasmin Brown

With so many CDs commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column by the informed and opinionated Yasmin Brown. She will scoop up some of those many EP releases, in... > Read more