Calling All Monsters - The Traps That Work Best (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Calling All Monsters

The Traps That Work Best (2006)


Real rock‘n'roll music is something that's becoming increasingly more hard to find this day and age. Seems most bands have to have some sort of angle, gimmick, or in; nobody's content with just playing the kind of music that Chuck Berry helped to create. Calling All Monsters is cut from a different cloth, though, because these San Franciscans know just what a rock‘n'roll record should sound like.

The Traps That Work Best is full of melodic rhythms, crunchy guitars, and the howling vocals of singer Matthew Troy, poised and ready to knock you on your ass at any time that you may not be paying attention. For thirty-five minutes, the band commands your attention with hectic starts and stops, aggressive, unpredictable vocal freakouts, and tense musicianship.

The band knows how to work well with tempo, though, as they're not always firing on all cylinders, offering instead a much more reserved, often eerie approach as can be found on "Baby Bear," the almost whimsical, enchanting pop chord progressions carry the song blow the vocal flag that Troy is hoisting so high. His reserved, casual demeanor perfectly accents the downplayed rhythm, and makes it quite evident that not every track needs to the balls to the wall surge of adrenaline that "We Are: Special Forces" is. It may only be two minutes in length, but the punch that it packs can be felt resonating long after it's actually ended. It seems like such simple music, but the band includes enough subtle nuances and interesting elements to keep you coming back for listen after listen.

Calling All Monsters provide all the crunchy guitars, walls of distortion, and schizophrenic vocals that one could ask for in a rock‘n'roll band, and they know how to change things up to keep it interesting. I'm definitely curious to see where the band goes from here.