When you listen to the sharp, eerie and harsh tracks of many DIY emoviolence and screamo bands, it’s easy to imagine evenings spent alone in a small, creepy basements, staring into the depths of your wounded heart —all of which was pretty much a reality for a relatively new synth infused punk band Кальк (KALK), who have recently locked themselves in a basement in Schwentinental, near Kiel, Germany and recorded their debut LP, then mixed and mastered by Jack Shirley at the famous Atomic Garden studio, far from cold lands of Northern Germany. Spiced up with Russian lyrics that cover political issues, the grrrl situation in the punk scene and the threat of fascism, homophobia, transphobia, and similar prejudices, the trio became the obvious subject of our interest, so we’ve decided to give it some space and hopefully allow them to gain some more notoriety. With the amazing new music video below and the full track by track breakdown by the band’s vocalist Anna, it shouldn’t be too difficult.
Кальк are kicking off their short European tour on October 6th – scroll down to see the details.
Listen to the full record and take the full dive into each and every single track’s concept below.
Cover art by Jacob Tomlinson Illustration.
1. Напалм (Napalm). The intro doesn’t really handle a concrete issue, but is rather a collection of imagery. The picture I had in mind while writing this mostly resembles colonization periods of the world when the white folks discovered new lands and had been welcomed by the natives and the latter got stabbed in the back (or in the front). The colonizers are the napalm in this scenario.
2. Черный пес, темный лес (Black dog, dark forest). This song is clearly about depression and struggling with your own darkness. Depression is often compared to a black or a gray hound who follows one around everywhere. Having experienced this myself, I took the metaphor even further into a dark forest. You can’t really get out of there, but can sometimes find clearings of hope in it.
3. Привет, героиня (Hello, heroine). This is just a tiny etude to escapism. When I used to live in Moscow, I had to spend a lot of time in the underground railway. It offered me a weird state of solitude and a place to think. Sometimes I imagined that the train could carry me somewhere magical instead of just to the next station. But the next station always came.
4. Панк-рок еще дышит (Punk-rock is still breathing). In Russia they turn off hot water in summer for three weeks for maintenance, well, assuming, you have hot water in the first place. They don’t do it in the whole city simultaneously but block by block, so sometimes if you’re lucky you can take a shower at your friend’s across the street. If not, you cook water on the stove and mix it with cold water in the bathtub. So the song is about a girl who decides to give up washing herself all together and through that she discovers punk-rock. She leaves for Europe where she finds a squat and embraces the freedom from normality.
5. Пыльная звезда (Dusty star). A word play on “Stardust”. Kinda existential, I guess. It is a very calming concept that nothing really ever dies, not in religious sense, but in the scientific one. Like, we’re just a bunch of atoms trying to get through the day.
6. Шлюха из Бутово (Slut from Butovo). Butovo is a district in Moscow that is like every other “sleeping” district very far from the inner city. People literally go there to sleep after working in the city and every district looks the same. Now, the song is about stupid fuckboys that drive around these districts in their pimped up cars and will slow down in front of any girl to offer her a lift. The girl in the song turns the tables and, well, mutilates the idiot with her high heel. Plot twist: the dude is the slut.
7. Завтра было вчера (Tomorrow was today). Apocalyptic, post global warming scenario. Nothing special, just people blowing each other up.
8. Мераморфоза (Metamorphose). This one is pretty personal. I dedicated it to my grand parents – who took care of me for half of my childhood – after they died. They represent a perfect love story for me and these images, stories and letters are now transformed and live on in my memories. It’s kinda hard to play it live sometimes.
9. Зефир (Marshmallow). Zefir is a kind of Russian marshmallow. It is very big, sweet, white and fluffy. It always comes to mind when I am reminded of girls I went to school with or, more or less, the stereotype of a Russian girl: marry rich, big wedding, fluffy white dress in a churchy church. And you are basically done with your life accomplishments. This is what we are taught from the beginning. Some girls would go to great length to achieve this (the one in the song is an actual psychopath, though. I like over the top stuff, haha)
10. В радуге столько красивых цетов, а ты выбираешь говно (Rainbow has so many colors but you still choose shit). I actually had a friend from Tarusa (a small village in Moscow’s proximity), although I am not sure if she transitioned (pretty sure she didn’t). The song is more of a thought experiment and, of course, a praise to love, rainbow and people who are brave to be who they are living among bigots and assholes.
11. Отпуск в Панаме (Vacation in Panama). This song refers (obviously haha) to the Panama Papers and the fact that Mr. Putin had his head as deep in this shit as any other. There has been some money laundering through his best friend Sergey Roldugin (unfortunately, in Russian). The latter is a cello player and was granted a cello worth gazillion dollars. These are details. The thing is, corruption in Russia takes such an outrageous magnitude, the corrupted are not even trying to hide it. And people accept it because they were rendered powerless over decades by the insane amount of repression, to the point where they don’t even notice it anymore. Conway didn’t invent fake news, it has been prevailing in Russia.
Кальк tour dates (RSVP here):
06.10. Erfurt, DE – Veto w/ Cold Kids
07.10. Neubrandenburg, DE – AJZ w/ 70 cm³ of Your Chest, The Heroine Whores, WRACKSPURTS
09.10. Warszawa, PL – Pogłos w/ Hanako, 72DR
10.10. Bytom, PL – Wolne Tory TSA
11.10. Kraków, Pl – Warsztat
12.10. Trnava, SK – Kubík w/ Tvivler
13.10. Regensburg, DE – Büro w/ 70 cm³ of Your Chest
14.10. Dresden, DE – Roads Festival