calculator
These Roots Grow Deep...


3.5
great

Review

by danielito19 USER (21 Reviews)
August 12th, 2011 | 15 replies | 4,957 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist


1 of 1 thought this review was well written

“I don’t know if we each have a destiny, or if we’re all just floating around accidental-like on a breeze, but I, I think maybe it’s both. Maybe both is happening at the same time.”

These Roots Grow Deep begins with a sample from Forrest Gump, and the quote really sets the stage for the album. If you’ve ever seen Forrest Gump, you know why the movie is so ubiquitous. Everything about the movie is relatable, and besides that, it’s all so profound. Gump is an instantly lovable narrator, and you share in his joys, his triumphs, but also his sorrows. When it comes to emotive hardcore, emotive is the key word. The main goal, above all else, is to portray emotion. And calculator’s These Roots Grow Deep does this perfectly. Much like Forrest Gump, you can feel every emotion swirling in the minds of this five-piece from California.

After the Forrest sample, a couple punk chords are bashed out and then a little bit of light guitar strumming, and then the screaming comes in. Sounding like a rawer Jeffrey Eaton (of Modern Life Is War) with a little less power, the vocals are excellent and manage to switch it up just enough throughout the album to keep it interesting. Whether he actually is screaming, or straddling the line between yelling and screaming, his raw sound is fantastic. The DIY production definitely helps his sound, as the rawness is of an almost live quality.

The band is a pretty standard emo outfit. With very melodic, slightly distorted guitars, and a few chords bashed out, and a competent rhythm section, calculator shouldn’t stand out from the rest of the pack. It’s a fact, they don’t sound any different from anything that’s already been done. But, somehow, they don’t scrape up some old relationships that didn’t work and call it emotion. They excel at making you feel, and that puts the ‘emo’ in ‘emotive hardcore.’ They make you feel everything they feel, and it can be a mess of feelings at times. At the end of “Paradise,” for instance, the listener is left partially numb from the two Donnie Darko samples, partially confused from all the tempo changes, and wholly overjoyed at the incredibly crafted song.

“Dr. Lilian Thurman: Do you feel alone right now?
Donnie: Oh, I dunno. I mean I’d like to believe I’m not but I just… I’ve just never seen any proof so I… I just don’t debate it anymore, you know? It’s like I could spend my whole life debating it over and over again, weighing the pros and cons and in the end I still wouldn’t have any proof so I just… I just don’t debate it anymore. It’s absurd.
Dr. Lilian Thurman: The search for God is absurd?
Donnie: It is if everyone dies alone.”

Donnie Darko, much like Forrest Gump, is an excellent movie. Much less well-known, sure, but still excellent. Both movies have an instantly relatable narrator. However, while Gump is dealing with the subjects of love, and war, Darko deals with the omnipresent topics of death, depression, and teenage angst. Somehow, both narrators fuse perfectly with calculator.

Musically and technically, calculator shows nothing you couldn’t get from some other emo band. However, the lyrics and the samples are what truly make the band. The lyricist has so many perfect moments it’s impossible to not feel something while listening to this. Donnie Darko and Forrest Gump would both be proud.



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user ratings (31)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
danielito19
August 12th 2011



4811 Comments


criticism welcome

iFghtffyrdmns
August 13th 2011



7047 Comments


I'm not reading the review but I'm pos'ing you and creating alt accounts on which to pos you solely based on the fact that you quoted that in your summary.

i've had a rough week and you kinda just made my night, so thanks.

BrownPark
August 13th 2011



158 Comments


and another one from yours truly :]

iFghtffyrdmns
August 13th 2011



7047 Comments


okay now that I'm actually reading the review and realizing that the quote is in the album I think I'm even happier. I'm definitely gonna get this.

as for the review, just a couple things.
in the second paragraph, I think you should have
"switch it up just enough throughOUT the album" instead of through, just sounds better to me.

in the third paragraph, the sentence that starts out with "It's a fact..." is redundant following that previous sentence, I think you could afford to omit it.

also, I think the Donnie Darko paragraph is sort of irrelevant. Maybe you could go more into it about how it relates to the music, but you'd be fine just taking that paragraph out completely too. Other than that, nicely written review pal.

danielito19
August 13th 2011



4811 Comments


yeah I don't really know what to do with that. I might come back to it. Thanks!

foxblood
August 13th 2011



6797 Comments


this seems pretty good. i agree that it has a nice raw, live quality to it. from what i've heard so far it seems like it's missing something special to truly set it apart though. and as much as i love donnie darko, it's such an emo cliche to sample it in a song.

Athom
Staff Reviewer
August 13th 2011



17204 Comments


Wooooooo socal skramz represent! check out Ten Thousand Leagues and Residuals

iFghtffyrdmns
August 13th 2011



7047 Comments


tracklist plzZzzZzzz
socal skramz you say, eh?

Athom
Staff Reviewer
August 13th 2011



17204 Comments


yeah we've got a cool little hardcore scene here with Calculator, tidemouth, residuals, ruptures, black sheep wall, *shels, i never knew you, ten thousand leagues, my iron lung, etc etc etc

iFghtffyrdmns
August 13th 2011



7047 Comments


adam that's cool and all but you're gonna have to stop posting cause that chick in your avatar is seriously creeping me out bro

Athom
Staff Reviewer
August 13th 2011



17204 Comments


Her being a crazy bitch and in national politics creeps me out too, bro.

iFghtffyrdmns
August 13th 2011



7047 Comments


BAH.
how do we sleep at night

OneFingerSalute
February 21st 2012



1 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice surprise to find this has been reviewed here. Good job!

Pheromone
May 13th 2014



3466 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

this band still going?

Digging: Sneaker Pimps - Becoming X

danielito19
May 13th 2014



4811 Comments


I haven't heard anything about them. considering they're an emo band they probably broke up and formed four more bands that have all broken up by now



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