Review: Kali Masi – [laughs]

kali masi - laughs

To say that Take This To Heart Records has been on a bit of a hot streak during the last calendar year may be selling it short. It’s even more embarrassing to admit that I didn’t know of any of the bands on this roster even as short of a time as eight months ago. When you step back and look at the roster of releases the label has put out in the last calendar year, it starts to have that special feeling that the mid-00s Drive-Thru or Tooth & Nail hot streaks had when we lived through, and grew up on, them. And in many ways, this current hot streak exists as a modern equivalent of what it was like to grow up on that music, but with a far more mature lyrical bent.

City Mouth’s Coping Machine slots in somewhere between Motion City Soundtrack, hellogoodbye, and Andrew McMahon-esque lyrics while The Sonder Bombs’ Clothbound erupts through pop-rock anthems reminiscent of Riot! or The Hush Sound’s Like Vines. Barely Civil’s exceptional I’ll Figure This Out was the introspective, simmering album that a pandemic year needed for late night drives, riding the currents of Jimmy Eat World’s “Polaris” and “23.” ManDancing’s The Good Sweat borrowed some of that I’m Like A Virgin Losing A Child magic that launched Manchester Orchestra into the stratosphere we see them orbiting in now. Looking forward, we can see PONY’s upcoming April release promising electro-pop in the vein of Carly Rae Jepsen to fuel road trip playlists and loud sing-a-longs.

However, their latesst new release, Kali Masi’s sophomore record [laughs], is even harder to draw comparisons to the PureVolume streams and Myspace profile songs of our youths—and that’s a great thing. It continues to remind you, just like the albums mentioned above, that styles of music that you have always loved can continue to be both fresh and new while fitting into those sonic landscapes you have already heard before. Sometimes doing something familiar exceptionally well is revolutionary art.

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