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"New Year Drudion 07CE"

Next stop must be at the debut EP from the very fine quartet Caltrop, who hail from Chapel Hill in North Carolina. Now, I’m not even sure of the status of this 27-minute release, but its very singular fucking excellence emanates in a kind of Scando-proto-metal meets early Ramasses kind of way and fugs up the room in a manner that demands repeated listenings. Check them out at www.myspace/caltropband, and be sure to listen all the way through, because these gentlemen unfold into areas only the most confident of motherfuckers dare take their shit. And while the drumming is truly something else, the hugely varied guitar playing sways from bilious, cyclical twin lead riffology to ‘Eruption’-style Edward Van Halen-isms of the highest quality. Best of all, these subversives take their name from one of the most vilely-conceived guerrilla warfare weapons ever invented. Yowzah!
- Julian Cope Presents Head Heritage

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Caltrop, Tiger Bear Wolf, Building the State @ Reservoir

Caltrop is the best metal band in North Carolina right now. Well-educated in the school of Sabbath, the Chapel Hill four-piece exhibits caustic riffage allying Sleep, the mathematical prowess of Karp and a brute force comparable to the heydays of Harvey Milk, but with zero shortage of originality. Grooving between beautiful and bloodthirsty, this band is a true triumph in Southern sludge. 10 p.m. —RI

from The Independent Weekly November 8, 2006
- The Independent Weekly

"CD REVIEWS December, 2006"

Wow, man. Caltrop’s bio just blew my mind. “Caltrop is a collaborative writing experience that involves the interpretation of perspective without ascendancy”, says here. Yikes. No wonder you need guys like me, to decipher statements like that. What North Carolina’s Caltrop have to offer you, besides ascendancy, are four languorous stoner-doom tracks full of rolling-down-the-mountain mudriffs and a general sense of floating in a lake of tasty syrup. Possibly pancake. There’s little in the way of vox, giving 10 minute work-outs like….fuck, whatever the 10 minute song is called…enough room to grow legs and lumber around on it’s own, like a tree stump monster. Which may, at the end of the day, be the very definition of ascendancy. So I guess they were right all along. Heavy shit, brotha.
-Sleaze -

"caltrop self-released"

Recorded back in the dark-thronged years of 2005, this do-it-yourself, at times Sabbathy sludge might be the industrial juggernaut of the windy city come to life in giant sloth riffage. Imagine the southside slums rearing up in slowly twisting anger and molten revenge, one almost mythic (I mean, heck, the band is named after an old metal weapon that soldiers slugged, also known as a star nail) and otherwordly, and this might be the slow, undulating soundtrack. Are they even from Chicago? Who knows? Only the lord of the underground. Well, at least the songs were recorded in such a murky place. With odd timing and vocals that are not drenched in terror-noise howls (in fact, the third song [all untitled, and this clocking in at 10:00 minutes!] sounds surprisingly like the off key throb vocals of Pavement being wounded and encircled by guitar work resembling early Thin Lizzy…what a blend). Overall, though, this commingling of old-school space rock and current stoner-isms makes for a good companion to the likes of Nebula and Totimoshi in your CD player longing for something with muscled style and finesse. - Left of the Dial online music magazine

"caltrop self-released"

North Carolina is a hot bed of sorts for a vast amount of music these days. Caltrop's recent self-released 4-song demo pulls from an array of influences that expand well beyond the region to create something which is not only unique but a rather pleasant surprise. Whenever a clearly DIY CD arrives it generally means one of two things: it is either a shoddy attempt at music and the sound follows the packaging or the band simply focused on the writing the music and due to lack of funds (like every indie band) simply put out an album on a shoestring budget. Luckily, Caltrop falls in the latter category.

Opening track "Dr. Motherf* cker" is an experience in epic, doom-laden dissonance. From the tortured screams of Sam Taylor to the pounding bass lines of Murat Dirlik, the band trenches onward, clear and concise each step of the way. Throughout the album you'll hear ambient shredding and spacey overtones of guitar guru Adam Nolton, who concisely sets a doomy, sludge-filled atmosphere. The biggest surprise comes from drummer Jason Alward, who is unmistakable in his presentment. From furious rhythms to driving rock'n'roll beats, he controls the charge at whatever tempo is deemed necessary.

For a debut I can certainly say that Caltrop is heading in the right direction. Now to pinpoint the said direction may be a bit more difficult, but nonetheless they are forging onward. With a new recording planned in the spring I can say to keep your ears open for their next album. In the meantime I would urge fans of doomy, dissonant rock to experience this great little demo. Caltrop needs to be played loud so you can feel it... so forget the neighbors, take 27 minutes out of your life and crank it up!

-Josh Hogan -

"caltrop self released"



The word on this Caltrop four-track: It's a demo recorded by Mark Messings in Chicago in September that turned out so well when it was peeled off of Nick Peterson's mixing board at Polyphonic Studios in Chapel Hill, the band decided to self-release it as an EP, artwork done by bassist Murat Dirlik and vocalist Sam Taylor.

The better word on the eponymous debut: Thankfully. Caltrop's entrée combines the belief that passion can't be conveyed in 1/64th notes, but that metal--sludgy, dynamic and heavy, maybe like The Melvins, certainly like Sleep--can tell it exactly like it is.

Consider Sam Taylor's vocals on "What in Life That is Worth," a quotidian agro-number written by a guy who has stretched himself too thin and whose day job is killing his life's real work a bit more each day. "My mind is pain. And some things astound me," whelps Taylor, sounding like Slint's Brian McMahon, fighting for air and energy. Dueling hammer-on/off, high-end guitars disappear and reappear beneath the record's easiest drum trot, courtesy of Jason Aylward, who shines here. Adam Nolton's guitar sails out for a solo five minutes in, channeling the break in "Whole Lotta Love" with its insistence on writhing around in serpentine solitude. Without warning, those tones invert, bass and drums plummet, and Taylor is done complaining. Now, he is here to take what is his.

"Where are my rights? I've paid my dues. Is it a matter of funding?" he screams at the six-minute mark, a High on Fire enormity crashing down through overdriven guitars and Aylward's rolls and carefully shifting time signatures. It's a revelation, a moment where our protagonist will either succumb or succeed.

This is the most cathartic thing that anyone in this band--which includes members of The Ladderback, Continent, Valient Thorr, Kerbloki, Pegasus and El Sucio--has released to date. And, for reiteration, it's their debut. Thrilling. - The Independent Weekly

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Hex Machine, Cough, Caltrop @ Nightlight

This is a somewhat late show, as it will commence after the weekly Nightlight Monday Night Trivia. It's also an indisputably Heavy show; Caltrop are, near as I can tell, the heaviest band in the Triangle, with absurdly sludgy & unstoppable riffs. Stand near the door; you'll want a clear escape route when the roof caves in.

Ross Grady

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Year Future, Caltrop @ Wetlands

Year Future is one of the most promising bands to emerge on Gold Standard Laboratories in years, their Fugazi and Sonic Youth inspirations filled with an immediacy that few bands rolling through that Los Angeles syndicate possess anymore. They're dangerous and disdainful, noisy post-punks whose abrasive ambition lacks an incumbent fear of failure. Caltrop--getting High on Fire while wearing a Sabbath T-shirt with a ZOSO patch--is purely unfuckwithable. Not to be missed. $6/10 p.m. --GC

from The Independent Weekly May 10, 2006
- The Independent Weekly


2005 self titled self released ep (see reviews).

2007 full length recording with acclaimed producer and engineer brian paulson; to be released by somebody.



caltrop strives to create music that exhibits a respect for their influences, challenges their individual musicianship, and balances each members distinct stylistic presence with the desire to blend history with new direction. the result is a dynamic sound entrenched in a heavy and low rolling rhythm with expressive vocals surrounded by a soaring instrumental voice; a revitalizing live performance exacting a combination of time signatures both pleasantly demanding of the listener and simplistic in their movement and flow.

caltrop is a collaborative writing experience that involves the interpretation of perspective without ascendancy; a balance where individual styles can be noted without the disjointed effect of a less experienced group. each member has placed the importance of this band above other aspects of life, sacrificing opportunity for the feeling of blowing away a room.

caltrop has recorded & self released an ep, self booked multiple semi-national tours, and has just completed a full length recording with acclaimed producer and engineer brian paulson (slint, jesus lizard, the wedding present, dinasour jr, beck).