Label: Western Vinyl Release Date: 22/11/10 Official Website: MySpace Buy: Amazon After twenty-five seconds of uncertainty, the first guitar strum in Life of Love by Callers had me. For a minute, the swooping female vocals are showcased over tension-building bass strums and minimal percussion... teased by echoing stabs of guitar, we are taken into edgy finger-picked guitar patterns, bursting into life under the purity of Sara Lucas' voice. A three-piece from New York, Callers follow in the footsteps of hundreds of New York rock bands, right back to the drugged-up rock of the 60s and 70s, Noise of the 80s, both of which are toyed with in the genre-spanning gems on this album. Opener 'You Are An Arc' is a startlingly compelling listen, life-affirming in its 'big' production, which makes every note echo and fill the whole room with just the right amount of sound. Yet it ends suddenly, drums leading into intense, melodic 'Glow', rich in what sounds like distant choral harmony, and haunting to the bone. Again, it ends abruptly, 'Life of Love' taking on a whole different mood again. That's one of the things I love about this album. Every track shows off another mood and style in Callers' repertoire. Interesting 'Eastern style' rhythms are a theme throughout, the walking bass in 'Life of Love' and blue notes reminding of funk and blues. Lucas' voice brings charm and beauty back to the overused "Oh baby" formula. Callers show a great skill for developing every song; track four, 'Young People', begins eerily and quietly, but gradually turns, through volume changes and dynamic rhythms, into an intense song which builds up only to end quite suddenly. Perhaps this is a weakness of the album overall, or manipulation by Callers to keep us listening, but each track does seem to end without purpose, and what begins a quirk starts to feel like an abundance of loose ends. However, after each abrupt ending, another great track follows. 'Heartbeat' is a brilliant song, with the repeated utterance "Like a heartbeat" making it almost impossible to forget. I got lost in the stylish bluesy riffs, the unusual chord changes and the eloquent "I am mesmerised by the sounds of my own beat". Pretty 'How You Hold Your Arms' is next, possibly beginning to grate with the echo effect, but leading into considerably less echo-laden and more folky 'Dressed in Blue'. The guitar parts glitter and tiptoe across different rhythmic and harmonic patterns gorgeously, hypnotic and yet deliberately edgy to keep you in the room. It works, even with the contrasting smoothness of Lucas' sweeping vocals. 'Roll' is a return to the guitar pedal effects and blue notes, while 'Bloodless Ties' follows the album formula of a softer final track, ending the album gently. Overall, I think I'll have to be in the mood for the distinctive atmosphere in this Life of Love, as it has a relaxing evening vibe which could feel a little boring, but it is by no means completely easy listening. A small band on the vast scene of New York, I hope Callers get noticed while they are still this good. Photobucket