Califone is a critic’s dream, a sort of baseless conglomeration of electric, acoustic, and digital sounds that lends itself well to a wide variety of conceptual adjectives and perceived artistic movements. Formed from the members of Red Red Meat, Califone is casually intellectual, in the same way that punk rock can be casually emotional. The songs on Califone are layered like a fine Italian dessert, with strata of loops, guitar drawl, and vocal mumble all combining deliciously as soon as you pop it in your mouth. The melody of “Beneath the Yachtsman” is hauntingly familiar amidst the creative chaos of a multitude of sounds crowding for a slot in the song’s slow and steady pace. “St. Martha Let It Fold” brings back memories of Crosby, Stills and Nash with its darkly complex vocal harmonies. Califone fails to provide me with a single moment of pure musical joy, but I still find myself referring to its deep stirrings time and again.
Road Cone, P.O. Box 8732 , Portland, OR 97207