The Duplicated Memory
Calico System churns out a characteristic brand of screamo/metalcore that on the surface isn’t all that different than the sound popularized by Thursday and Glassjaw. However, The Duplicated Memory seems to be missing the level of emotional depth that makes Full Collapse or Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Silence such powerful, angry tear-jerkers. After a few listens, it becomes apparent that, musically, Calico System probably owes more to Snapcase and Grade than they do to Thursday and their ilk — and they’ve taken that sound and infused a little more metal chugga-chugga to presumably distinguish themselves from the rest of the bands rushing to crowd this space.
Songs like the powerful opener “Love Will Kill All” embellish on this point, and deliver the goods. But the continued focus on heavier material unfortunately works to obscure vocalist Mark Owens’s potent melodic singing capabilities, which could be the band’s secret weapon if used correctly. Although Owens has a great range (his singing reminds one of both Snapcase and Finger Eleven), he’s at his best when not screaming his lungs out — in fact, his style of throaty hardcore sounds just a little off.
The band is at their best when they’re in their most chilled-out melodic moments (“It’s Fair To Say,” “Soft Lips and Headstones”), and do a fine job conjuring up some of the better Codeseven material from The Rescue. I’d love to hear more of this stuff, and one can only hope that they follow up this decent debut with something that strips away the tough-guy posturing to really showcase their unique strength as a band. There’s no doubt that Calico System has potential, but they need to tune their sound a little more before being able to shake off the “just another metalcore band” stigma.