Calyx are a trio that specializes in whirling pop-punk paroxysms; they released their full length debut, Stay Gone, this week.
Ever since I saw Calyx blow through a set at The Childlike Empress’s Take Care Of Yourself release show at Babyland a few years back, I’ve been hoping for a full album’s worth of the band’s high voltage music. With Stay Gone, the trio has delivered a rousing, virtuosic collection of songs that conveys the thrill of a live show. Caitlin Bender’s peals of guitar and freewheeling vocals, John Ahn’s gritty, rubber band bass lines, and Garett Cassidy’s gale force drumming make for an urgent listening experience that balances hookiness and ferocity. Album opener “Americana Get A Break” smashes the door down with major key power chords and belted lyrics that express a burning desire to “be anywhere else.” Near the end of the song, the band reigns in its fury for a brief interlude of scrabbling drums and bass; Bender yearns, “Walls to build a road/Anywhere I wanna go, I go,” repeating the sentiment until an explosive coda forces its way back into the picture. The song reminds me of the anthemic restlessness of prime Japandroids (albeit it with more technical flare and less “whoa-oh”ing) and the doodled guitar heroics of Ecstatic Sunshine, and represents a perfect introduction to an exciting record.