Sound of Cancer: Alexx Calise rocks different on No Vampires in Gilroy
October 30, 2011 by Bill Palmer
by Bill Palmer
Those who’ve heard the Alexx Calise ballad entitled “Cry” on any of the spate of television shows it’s appeared on this month may be surprised when they seek out her two albums and find that she has the knobs turned quite a bit higher most of the time. And they’ll be even more surprised when they find their way to Sound of Cancer, Calise’s new collaborative project with drummer Dennis Morehouse in which she sets aside the aggressive modern rock of her solo albums in favor of of a more textured alt-rock landscape.
The record is called No Vampires in Gilroy, and a spooky undead theme winds its way through the lyrics; it’s fitting that the album is seeing a Halloween release. But this is no over the top monster mash, rather it’s a rock record which just happens to cover morose subject matter. Even as Calise sings “You will be my lover in this life another” on the mid tempo song Vamp, Morehouse’s rhythm section pounds away as if it might be influenced by nineties stalwarts Jane’s Addiction or Stone Temple Pilots. As it turns out, those are some of the same bands Calise grew up listening to.
Those who were initially introduced to Calise’s softer side will see it on display on the album’s final track, a quiet ballad in which she’s accompanied only by acoustic guitar. But as evidenced by her two solo records, along with Morehouse’s percussion work with Gilby Clarke from Guns n’ Roses and Marc Ford from the Black Crowes, these two musicians are both looking to rock out when they can – and that’s what they spend most of No Vampires in Gilroy doing. Fortunately for listeners, Sound of Cancer excels at the task.