By Joseph Tubb
Calm Asa Coma’s self-titled debut album is an obvious freshman effort, but has enough charm to warrant future listening. Their CD opens with very literal introductions, each member playing their instrument or singing in seeming succession so you can get to know them. By the third song, you know what you like and what you don’t.
The song “Brittany” makes a good first impression after introducing itself with some interesting vocal harmonies. It leads well into the thrilling “Wandering,” showcasing some lesser-used guitar sounds.
The album’s unity comes from the vocals, which are charming at first, but eventually fall victim to monotonous refrains in the later songs. The band may have anticipated this, however, so in “Old Mr. Boston” they start throwing in surprise endings to their songs with sudden intense instrumentation and vocals.
These surprises are less striking by the time you get to “The Trouble With,” but Calm Asa Coma seems to switch up their formula again. The first half of “Falcons” is more similar to the first section of the album with some clever instrument use that is rejuvenating. Unfortunately, they run out of lyrics again by the second half and fall back into a boring refrain.
Just when you think the album might be warming up again, the final song delivers another average performance. Fortunately, there is a hidden bonus track that again displays the band’s instrumental versatility with a charming acoustic performance. After the last half of the album, this surprise ending is welcome.