The Callas With Lee Ranaldo
Trouble And Desire
Inner Ear/Dirty Water Records
Lee Ranaldo could not have found a better outfit to collaborate with than The Callas. I’m not sure about other releases they may have, but on Trouble and Desire they sound very much like Evol-era Sonic Youth. Greek brothers Lakis and Aris Ionas describe the band as “an art collective” which is fitting for them owning a gallery in Athens, Greece where they produce films, magazines, visual art and music amongst other things. The band are Aris on guitar/vocals, Lakis on bass/vocals, Chrysanthi Tsoukala on drums/vocals, and Marilena Petridou on percussion.
The album splits the proper songs apart by numbered interludes each called “Octopus No.x” and range from 26 seconds to a little over a minute. Each is a little ambient trip between the tracks. The regular songs all interplay vocal duty between male and female equally, so there is no “lead” vocal which is a nice touch. Ranaldo doesn’t overshadow anyone in The Callas but melds in rather nicely. Tracks like “Μελανιά”, “Acid Books” and the title track all have a certain air of that early 90s punk/college radio sound. Combine it all and you have one hell of an album full of anthemic sing-a-longs with an arty glue holding it all at the seams.
SPILL ALBUM REVIEW: THE CALLAS WITH LEE RANALDO – TROUBLE AND DESIRE