Review Summary: A fantastic EP that not only satisfies the listener with more of the lovely brand of shoe-gazey post-folk/whatever that Her Name is Calla has developed through their first few releases, but proves to be a marking point for developments in their sound and
Maw is a fantastic EP that not only satisfies the listener with more of the lovely brand of shoe-gazey post-folk/whatever that Her Name is Calla has developed through their first few releases, but proves to be a marking point for developments in their sound and style. Maw effectively pushes the already broad horizons of diversity for the outfit, while maintaining their core sound that they have developed, while most other artists fail to accomplish this in one way or another. Though only three songs in length, the listener is left with much to revisit in that short time, especially in the breathtaking final track.
The groovy, distorted electric guitar that initiates the first track of the album could come as a surprise to anyone who is familiar with the previous outputs, "The Quiet Lamb" and "Heritage." When the rhythmic, driving drum beat comes in, it is quite apparent that the title track from the EP is drastically different from the dreamy, sprawling approach that encapsulates the primary style of both of the previous records. The atmosphere of those albums, however, is retained perfectly, as the song evolves into a perfectly fun, ominous, rocking tune, complete with brass, vocals, and general loudness. It is fun as hell. The next song takes an approach more reminiscent of the more sentimental, quiet moments of The Quiet Lamb. With its delicate drum beat providing a minimal rhythm, it has the feeling of a gentle river, with the lovely violins and guitars providing a quiet overlay for the lovely vocals.
Then there's the last track, Dreamlands. And what a song it is. Being an 11 minute track, it effectively uses the time it's giving to encompass everything that Her Name is Calla is, through its pure, minimal folk sections to its dense noise elements. This song is best left unspoiled, but it is arguably a crowning masterpiece for Her Name is Calla that deserves to be mentioned alongside "Condor and River" and "Mother***er! It's Alive and It's Bleeding" from "The Quiet Lamb" and "Heritage", respectfully.
Needless to say, whether you are a fan of this band or not, I would highly suggest this EP with the power of a thousand suns. Maw would serve as an excellent introductory point for anyone looking to get a more concise taste of this band. For being an EP of only 3 songs, I really can't say enough about it.