Calva Louise album review – Rhinoceros

If you go back far enough, some of you will remember when this band use to be called “Mystified”. Either way, no doubt in my mind that people are very aware of the Manchester trio and how they’re going from strength to strength. Jess, Alizon and Ben have just released their debut album “Rhinoceros”. If you want to understand the subtext of this album, then it goes back to Romanian-French playwright Eugene Ionesco who wrote the play titled “Rhinoceros”. The play, is about people in a French town morphing into rhinoceri, except for one man who is labelled as a madman, charlatan, paranoid. It also explores issues regarding monotony, lack of individuality, fascism, mob mentality and a desperate desire for control by any means. Talk about relevant! This play, is the inspiration for the video and first track on the album “I Heard A Cry”. This song very much personifies “bubble gum pop”. It’s catchy melodies, upbeat couple with subtext and double entendres. 

Continuing down the album, it’s an intricate web of stories, lessons, ideas and killer punchlines. “I’m Gonna Do Well” is about hoping for the best, winging it, making out that one has it all together when in actual fact, the person feels like they are playing catch up with their mind like cat and mouse. 

Inspired by events in the Peep Show, “Outrageous” is full of fire, unique accumulation rounded off by a chorus that everyone can get behind like an anthem for the enchanted and daring. “Wondertale” starts off with a bang, thanks to Jess and her dynamic vocal skills. In this song, it’s about wishful thinking, ruminations about the past, and considering what if certain patterns were broken, and rebuilt again to avoid disappointment. “Cruel Girl” brings the punk inspired noise, articulately describing the image of a girl who uses her powers for counter-productive reasons, to keep those in her grip as she pleases. 

“Down The Stream” radiates a poetic existential crisis within the self, losing sight of the self and dreams; allowing things to literally just flow away, without trying to grip onto anything important or worthwhile. There’s so much more I could say, but Calva Louise are sailing their own vessels, and are continuously evolving, pushing beyond their comfort zones. Honestly, it’d be very much worth seeing them on their first headline tour that’s coming very soon. Same goes for festivals, see for yourself why this delightful trio manage to magnetise people wherever they go. 3 cheers for Calva Louise!

Track listing

1. I Heard A Cry

2. I’m Gonna Do Well

3. Tug Of War

4. Outrageous

5. No Hay

6. Getting Closer

7. Wondertale

8. Cruel Girl

9. Down The Stream

10. Out Of Use

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