Calibretto - Dead By Dawn (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Dead By Dawn (2003)

Standard Recording Co.

In 1987 Konami released their top selling "Castlevania." You were Simon Belmont, a pixelated 8-bit character who adventured through side scrolling castles as you chopped and whipped your way to the ultimate confrontation with Count Dracula. Like most early Nintendo games, Castlevania featured a wonderful MIDI soundtrack. Better than most, the programmers tried their hardest to make the tonal MIDI synth noises imitate campy horror movie organs.

Calibretto must have played their fair share of Castlevania.

Unfortunately I can't seem to tell if the band wants me to take them seriously or not. Calibretto's sound lies somewhere between less aggressive psychobilly and the organ driven Castlevania soundtrack. Throw a fairly clean sounding acoustic guitar into the mix with some b-horror influenced vocals and you've got "Dead By Dawn."

In some cases the band's sound works perfectly. The instrumental lead track "Come See The Meatboy" gallops in with a catchy rockabilly shuffle. This leads into the swirling organ work of "Bleeding On The Floor." However as soon as the vocals kick in I loose track of the band's overall purpose. Are they mocking the silly horror of Lovecraft obsessed psychobilly acts or are they embracing it? Christopher's voice has a hint of irony that never really lets up over the course of the record. One has to assume that the band's taken an "all in good fun" approach to their subject matter, which with the style they're playing takes away from the "darkness" they're trying to convey.

Regardless of motive, this is a pretty fun EP. The semi-acoustic rawness of a few tracks sounds a bit too close to Against Me worship, but that's forgivable. Calibretto could go far with this sound if they only took themselves seriously, but this isn't a bad start.