Reviewed by Abby Johnston, Fri., Dec. 28, 2012
Hello CallerDark Twain
Since 2010, local quintet Hello Caller has spit-shined dark folk into a whirling instrumental assault, finally emerging from the studio with debut LP Dark Twain. The band packs a full arsenal – strings, horns, and banjo shape a lush aural kitsch – meriting obvious comparison with acts like Beirut. Punchy percussion snaps opener "When the Wind Blows" to life, climbing toward a chorus of ghostly "oohs," punctuated by xylophone. That sets the stage for a largely emotive album, ending with the repeated line, "We'll say who we are," which says it best. "In the Full Moonlight" puts the banjo forward, toning down esoteric lyricism with an earthy, playful jangle. While an instrumental title track may have been a bit ambitious, falling short of the epic aspirations to which it aimed, Dark Twain's 11 tracks flex enough muscles to keep us wanting more.