Sandwiched between Longwave and the Rapture on the Yes New York compilation, Calla’s “Strangler” stood out amid the dancey punk rock as a sexy whisper over a
lush blanket of sound. Televise was the kind of record that made you want to put on your headphones and spend some quality alone time with yourself in a dark room. Yup, that sexy. When I first got my hands on a CDR of Calla’s newest batch of tunes Collisions I was expecting more of the same. While Aurelio Valle’s distinctly intimate voice is still there passing sweet nothings into your ear, the most exciting evolution on the record is that they’ve somehow upped the sexy. The bass lines are more intricate and urgent,
the guitars don’t just create a blanket of sound; on this record the blanket is now made of velvet.
At the Mercury Lounge on Friday, Calla came armed with a new bass player and their new repertoire of songs. “This Better Go As Planned” let Calla’s
newest addition, George Gonzalez, rock a bass riff on par with the sexy chug of Goldfrapp’s “Strict Machine.” The epic “Testify” featured drummer Wayne Magruder propelling the band through the most sonically impressive track on the new record. Collisions lead track “It Dawned On Me” is so catchy, from the opening riff, the packed Merc crowd responded as if the album had been released and the song had been in steady rotation in bars, stereos and iPods for weeks. Peppered amid the amazing new stuff were old crowd favorites “Strangler” and encore
track “Televised,” but the highpoints of the night were the Collisions tracks. Televise was sexy, but Collisions is a record made for fucking. With an evolution like that, one can only imagine where this band is going to go next.