To be honest, I have been sitting on this album for a while, not knowing the correct time to review it. I have been hearing rough mixes of these songs since 2011, and heard the complete master sometime last year. It was held up for a bit for some reason, so, therefore, I did not include it on my best albums of 2011 or 2012. But, it seems, that now, the long-awaited "Old Worlds Ocean" is officially released!
The Calamity Cubes! are one of the brightest and most promising bands around today within our community. Their past albums have all been solid, and their songs really mean something. My wife will attest, that the Cubes' music helped her through some very dark times in her life a year back. "Long, Cold Winter" is one of the finest releases in recent memory, and this is no different.
I don't think anyone would disagree with me when I tell you that "Old Worlds Ocean" is far and above their best release to date, as the band continues to grow and connect as songwriters.
"Anchors the Way" opens the set of music with a bang. They have been playing this, and most of this album, live for the past few years, so most of these songs will be second nature to buyers.
"It's been years now, and I'm still trying. But, I can't seem to drink you off my mind" is the chorus for "Rock Chalk", and it hits home for most of us. While, the lyrics may seem simple, it is the delivery that makes this song special.
"Same God" was first released as a live track on the Outlaw Radio Chicago Compilation Volume 2, and I chose this song for a reason. The lyrics and tone are beautiful, dark, haunting, and honest all at the same time. I can't get enough of the song. The verses, bridge, and chorus' are just perfect. I do prefer this one live, only for the fact that, Brook Blanche really gives it his all at the end of the tune, and you can really feel his passion. This version is just fine however.
"Lillybelle" follows suit of "Delia Rose" from the last album. A great song about a particular woman. "Lillybelle, you are my hell and my heaven". "Lillybelle, you are my drunk and my sober". Just some of the metaphors that Brook uses in this song to express the pain and enjoyment of a relationship. There are many songs about love out there, but too few that make you feel the emotion of the song writer to this extent.
"Devil in her Eyes" is sung by banjo player, Joey Henry, and it is yet another beautiful number. I hate to use that word to describe this music, but, I find it hard to better put it. While, the sound is very mystic and somber, this band just has that something special that makes you think about the lyrics and really capture what they are trying to get across. A lot of metaphors done perfectly.
While vocal duties are mainly shared between Brook and Joey, we get one song by bassist, Cody Oh. "Salvation" changes the pace on the album for a bit, with an almost gospel like, upbeat, and positive number. A fun listen.
The album's final two tracks end it in a great way. "Empty Bottle" is usually the closer live with the guys often getting into the crowd, or even on top of the bar performing unplugged and up close for those in attendance. While, it is obviously a drinking song, it goes far beyond a typical one. "I'd rather have an empty bottle, than no bottle at all, to remind me of the good times before last call". A slow and indistinct song we can all listen to at the end of a night at the bar.
"Traveling Lovers Lullyby" ends the record with a very soft and subtle ballad of sorts. Actually, the title is accurate. This is sung is a lullyby with the chorus "Sleep, baby, sleep". A nice ending to a solid album.
I love this album and recommend it for any body. The Calamity Cubes! are not a typical string band. They are a three piece, but are worlds apart from bands with similar instrumentation. The duel vocals between Joey and Brook really bring out two completely different tones. While, it shouldn't and wouldn't work with most bands, these guys pull it off flawlessly.
If I were to put this on my top 11 of 2012, it would've been right there at the top. This is a must have. The best album by a young band that will continue to grow before our eyes.
Focus tracks: "Lillybelle", "Devil in her Eyes", "Empty Bottle"
You can purchase "Old Worlds Ocean" NOW at www.farmageddonrecords.com
The Calamity Cubes are almost always on tour, and they can be seen LIVE at MoonRunners Music Festival, April 27th in Chicago, IL.
Read more about the Calamity Cubes HERE!