The Traps That Work Best

Calling All Monsters

Rock ’n’ roll will never be declared a dead artistic expression as long as bands like SF’s Calling All Monsters arrive—adept in subverting, contorting and shaping the medium’s language into a seemingly new, revitalizing call to arms. The band shows a clear love of the loud rock guitar, joining influences such as the pop-rhythmic strum of England’s The Wedding Present to the Archers of Loaf’s lo-fi spiked aggression, all the while maintaining its own sound in an endearing, unpredictable manner. “Western Style Town” is a perfect example of Calling All Monsters’ slanted, enchanted guitar pop, underscored with a tight rhythmic tension where guitarist/vocalist Matthew Troy’s (ex-Track Star) voice can be heard wistful, gainfully competing with clashing instruments, led by a melodic rhythm section emphasized by bassist John Nespeco’s endlessly alluring choices outside the expected realm of the four string. It is, however, guitarist Bill Chartier’s intuitive creativity alternating between sparse, prickly notes, feedback and a fierce jagged chording that gives Calling All Monsters its signature as one of the more exciting bands in recent years to emerge from the American Underground.