Calculator / Moldar - Split (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Calculator / Moldar

Split (2009)


Calculator step up their game considerably on this newer split EP with screamo comrades (kinda), Moldar. They have three cuts here and all are tighter, steadier and more dynamic than the material on their Arguments EP of last year. Mind you, these are a little more intense in places, and when they are they fit the genre parameters a little neater, but this refinement and focus has done the band well. "Our Homes, Our Graves" is a tense opener with an interesting jangle in the guitars at the beginning and then a more frenetic, faster tempo. There's a neat little moment where the song rears back, too. "Paradise" is a great in-between, mostly instrumental song, maybe the best on here, even, utilizing just a few lines and a Donnie Darko audio byte here and there. It's relaxed, yet a bit ominous at the same time. "Bandages" comes in with a quickly jangled riff and barked vocal line ("And when the tree falls, in the forest, I'll be the first one, to make a sound") and then some quick drum fills. It kinda loses my interest after that, but overall, this side's definitely the band's best stuff yet.

Moldar come up next with two lengthier contributions. This band's similar in that they have really anxious, yelled vocals that never get too screamy, but there's so much restraint in what they do it's still pretty interesting. In fact, that really just goes for "Growing Roots...." Their other song, "And Eyes in the Back of My Head" is a nine-minute instrumental-dependent closer with a handful of narrowly audible lines either breathily sung or hoarsely shouted. The jam isn't so much post-rock as it really is just a more instrumental-based variant of the style of the songs that precede it, like a less abrasive Kidcrash. However, traces of the former definitely come to the surface a bit towards the end, maybe hinting at something much greater to come from the band. The song could overall be stronger but it's pretty methodical and moderately complex.

A fairly tight split recording offered in a very DIY package.

Calculator - Our Homes, Our Graves
Moldar - Growing Roots...
Moldar - ...And Eyes in the Back of My Head