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Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States | INDIE

Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States | INDIE
Band Metal Blues


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos




I've gotta say that the new debut LP "World Class" could well be my surprise album of the year. Old Julian Cope said they "navigate between Harvey Milk and the Melvins, via Viaje A800 and power trio-period Grand Funk Railroad to fascinating effect", and I think that's an apt des c r i p tion. I love the way the songs are properly formed units, nothing is wasted, the harmonies work and when they lay down THE RIFF they do it with completely ridiculous confidence. Great vocals, heavy slabs of riff power, superb drumming, wow.

A serious band to watch I reckon. I've been humming "Bad Wolf Good Wolf" for DAYS now. -

"julian cope's head heritage, lp review"

I'm also molto-zoned by Caltrop's epic and vast debut LP WORLD CLASS, 48-minutes of bizarre harmonies served over a bed of ever-shifting, ever-smoking gasoline riffery from the ripped backsides of Hell. Those of you who remember my review of their first EP a year or so back will be delighted to learn that WORLD CLASS (complete with a brand new recording of their vast epic Slice-o-lator) kicks even that Highly Achieving sucker's dick into the dust! Ja, mein hairies, this filth & fury demands to be played at maximum vol and has virtually refused to leave my disc player, especially my personal favourite Junn Horde which uncannily quotes Beethoven's 5th in much the same manner that my own Vampire State Building did on last years YOU GOTTA PROBLEM WITH ME. Caltrop navigate between Harvey Milk and the Melvins, via Viaje A800 and power trio-period Grand Funk Railroad to fascinating effect. Cop this motherlode from Holidays For Quince Records ( or check them out at -

" g. currin live show preview"

Caltrop--getting High on Fire while wearing a Sabbath T-shirt with a ZOSO patch--is purely unfuckwithable. Not to be missed. -

"julian cope's head heritage, ep review"

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! -


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 -

"left of the dial"

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.

weblink no longer functional -

"the independent weekly, live preview"

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 -

"the independent weekly, lp review"

If Chapel Hill quartet Caltrop has a weakness, it's one of audience perception, something that's well beyond the control of any such upstart. On the band's long-anticipated first full-length, World Class, the riffs and rhythms explore the turbocharge and high volume of metal, and—averaging just under seven minutes each—these seven tracks speak to obsession with both size and stamina. Frontman Sam Taylor raises his voice, lifting laments with an ireful semi-shout. But for its jazz-conscious thematic variations and stainless, piercing electric blues leads, much of what makes World Class so impressive also runs the risk of sounding thin or passé to metal fans in 2008. It's less crusty or evil or sludgy than surefooted and dynamic and bright.

If Caltrop has a salvation, though, it's the current uprising of righteous, metal-oriented acts roaring forth from the South. From the resurgence of Athens' Harvey Milk and the acceptance of Savannah's Baroness to the polish of Miami's Torche and the promise of Durham's Tooth, the top class of the region's recent cadre of heavy acts is united in unhinged imaginations and rangy eclecticism. Though Caltrop only shares superficially with those bands, such acceptance could pull Caltrop ahead of the heap. At least let's hope that's the fate of Caltrop and its World Class, arguably the best full-length album released by any band in this state this year. With a familiar cast of carpenters and tools (there's nothing new about two guitars, bass and drums) working through familiar plans (especially playing razor-sharp guitar leads and ferocious rhythms), Caltrop rebuilds blues-based heavy metal with big eyes focused through ambition and musical maneuvers carved in perfection. Masterfully executed and vividly captured in Carrboro by Brian Paulson at Track & Field Studios, World Class' impressive stature meets—nay, squashes—my quite sizeable expectations.

What's most impressive about the Caltrop of World Class is its uniform excellence, or the feeling that everything belongs right here. Despite three tracks that break the eight minute mark, there's surprisingly little upstaging or unnecessary showmanship. On an album of generous leads and solos, Caltrop's efficiency as a band is remarkable, from the flip between tube amp drone and lock time throb on "Bloodroot" to the several shifts between headlong march and circuitous wind ups on "Slice O Lator." The spellbinding "Junn Horde" splits its Slint eats speakers spoils equitably: Like a prophetic bluesman stopping at the wrong roadhouse on the right night, Taylor assails the hawks from below: "Life is so fine and beautiful/ You destroy in war." Bassist Murat Dirlik takes a brief lead, but he mostly motions through dark, distorted waves, letting the excellent, opposed guitars of Taylor and Adam Nolton hulk and pirouette at will. "Ascendant", a nine minute epitome of ambition and execution ladders up and down a laser thin, nine note riff, eventually aiming itself upward like a phoenix as Dirlik and drummer John Crouch motion through a seesaw of tension.

Of particular note, though, is Crouch, who accomplishes so much so subtly here. He fills the pockets with deep kick blasts and pervasive ride cymbal textures, allowing himself space to duck the timekeeper role long enough to add flourishes without losing momentum or—consistent with that aforementioned Caltrop cohesion—spotlight his own maneuvers. His accents, like his distended fills on "Ascendant," highlight the band's melodic movement at large. When he speeds ahead and pulls behind the rhythm on opener "Bad Wolf Good Wolf," his supplements remain both understated and locomotive. On closer "With a Fire in the Middle," he taps and rolls patiently beneath the guitars as they grind a theme into a matrix of repetition and feedback. That steady end offers an ellipsis as a stride piano eclipses the band. You can imagine Crouch and Caltrop hovering nearby in the dark, poised for the next strike after such a perfect first blow. -


While citing Black Sabbath as an influence for any heavy band makes for easy stoner rock shorthand, North Carolina's Caltrop is one of the few shining examples where the influence can actually be heard. The quartet, hailing from Chapel Hill, was formed in 2005 by Sam Taylor (guitar/vocals), Murat Dirlik (bass/vocals), Adam Nolton (guitar), and John Crouch (drums). With thick, fuzzed out riffs leading the charge on most of their songs, Caltrop exists at the improbable intersection of Sabbath and the Allman Brothers Band, creating detuned, psychedelic dirges with a soulful Southern blues/rock inflection. Add a touch of the long-form, post-metal song structures of bands like Baroness and Earth, and you begin to see what makes the group tick. In 2006, the group self-released an eponymous demo, and in 2008 they released their first full-length outing, World Class, on Holidays for Quince. -

"live video"

live video of one of our occasional double drums performances with our old friend jason aylward of valient thorr...

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click on Music Videos
click on #6 or #7
- flying flounder productions


september 2005 - self titled/self released ep
july 2008 - world class, full length debut, holidays for quince records



caltrop is devoted to writing music that respects influence and challenges the influenced individual. our live performances & releases have received exceptionally positive reviews, some of which are provided via this site (,,, etc).

caltrop transcends the usual functional (or rather, disfunctional) tags applied to music in the days of the modern music business. to apply to sxsw we had to choose two "genres" via sonicbids so we chose metal because that is what people often miscategorize us as (even though our heavy music challenges metal fans of old and new we do not play metal alone) and blues because music must be felt to be heard, must be soulful to be felt, and we hope that is a designation that fits us well.

the only reason we joined sonicbids was to apply to sxsw. last year we applied to cmj via sonicbids and the goddam thing never got listened to, not once. somewhat reflective of the status of music as a business, potential and quality overlooked due to the static and monotony of the masses, local labels with success without their ears to the ground, music mattering because people are pretty.

we want to play sxsw because it fits our fucking tour schedule, because we are grown men who create time in difficult and challenging and common lives to tour irrespective of the challenges and lack of return because the music is rewarding, and because we feel we deserve some respect. please give us a listen or a look see.

love, caltrop.