At a record release party for the band's previous effort, Televise, New York's Calla played an entire set in total darkness save for a bright spotlight that shone at the audience from the rear of the stage. Consequently, all we glimpsed of the band members themselves were swaying shadows. This trick left the audience with little to do but zone in on the vibrant music coming from the stage. It, too, was dark and shadowy, a mix of minor-key passages with sharp guitar stabs and warbled, throaty vocals. On Collisions, the band's first for its new label, Calla hardly abandons its fervor for dark lyrical themes and music. Despite this fact, Collisions is a catchier, more maturely structured record. While much of Calla's past material consisted of long, slow, repetitive sections, the group here offers songs that not only have discernable choruses, but also even occasionally turn happy and anthemic, a strong change from the strict moping fans are used to. Whether this means the band will hire a new light-person for its stage show remains to be seen.
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