Music » Livewire

Calico System

With Haste the Day, Flee the Seen, and Heavy Heavy Low Low. Thursday, December 14, at the Agora.

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Heartland kids have every right to grow up angry; the lay of the land is dullsville, and the weather generally sucks. Besides, those coastal hipsters will almost always write off their art and music as flyover-state novelties. So expect more than just a twinge of rage in the roar of St. Louis' Calico System. The metalcore quintet throws down rough riffs like Pantera and tops 'em off with both clean and throat-scraping vocals. But unlike most screamo bands employing the bipolar vocal approach, Mark Owens is the group's lone vocalist. And unlike the grandstanding machismo indicative of hair metal, Calico System's lyrics -- especially on its second disc, They Live -- center on ill-fated friends and lovers. With short, wailing axe solos, rumbling breakdowns, and thunderous drums, expect to leave this show deaf -- and smiling.

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