Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Uh, oh! You either don't have the Flash plug-in installed, or you have it disabled.
Otherwise, there'd be a cute lil' streaming audio player on the left, rather than this message.

(Daredevil Records, 1999)

NYC scuzz metallers Angel Rot came to town a couple of times back in the late '90s. I think it was the second time that they came through that they were touring with the previously unknown to me German band Calamus. Whereas Angel Rot were dissonant and ugly (and fantastic), Calamus were more thick'n'groovy (and excellent). I was impressed enough that I bought the CDR EP they were selling that night, and I spun it many times in the ensuing weeks. A trip to their (now defunct) website showed that they'd released a couple of CDs already, plus a split 7" with the band Duster69.

The first of the CDs was a two-tracker named The Road Trax, but that's not what I'm featuring today on the jukebox, even though it's a fine slab of metal and plastic. No, today's song is the leadoff track to Highdrive, their first full-length album. The CDR EP mentioned above ended up being a teaser for their next album, These Days, released on the gently named I Used to Fuck People Like You in Prison Records, though the label website seems to have toned it down a bit, to simply People Like You Records. Wussbags.

When These Days was released, Calamus came back to town with NYC doom metallers Slow Horse, who featured the guy (Scott Sanfratello) who'd played drums with Angel Rot on that earlier tour. Crazy, man! Calamus never made it back over here, to the best of my knowledge, though they did release a couple more CDs: a self-released EP entitled A Few Lines in Mind and a full-length, The Same Old Demons.

These days (ha!), vocalist Ralf (in the cowboy hat above) sings for a band I found on-line the other day but whose name I now cannot for the life of me remember. The other guy in the photo is guitarist Jens. The two of them were responsible for all of Calamus's original material, with Ralf penning the lyrics and Jens planning out the notes.

No biased opinions . . . yet