Caldwell

Accidental Renovation

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A prototypical Indianola Records signing if ever there was one, Panama City, FL's Caldwell specialize in -- you guessed it -- melodic hardcore or emo, depending on the favored descriptive in your neck of the woods. If this first sentence sounds a bit cynical or conducive to preconceptions, that's only because Caldwell bring exactly zero in the way of innovation to this genre, and though it's unfair to instantly peg those who follow, instead of lead, as totally useless to the cause, it's also necessary to expose this otherwise very competent quintet as just that: able followers, not leaders. What unexpected chances are taken -- the electronic percussion of "Intermission" and the odd minor-key metallic riff here and there -- will probably attract as many listeners as they repel, and ultimately prove too rare and incidental to constitute an actual show of guts on the band's part. Smart, efficient, but mostly forgettable entries instead rule the day here, and higher marks can only be confidently awarded to the hard/soft variety heard on "Two Months Till Take Off" and "Last in First Out." Otherwise, these nine songs combining to 30 minutes (just 30?) only barely announce Caldwell's arrival on the scene, with much work still necessary if the band is to leave any lasting impact.

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