Milwaukee Artist of the Week – 3/7/14 – Call Me Lightning

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This week’s Milwaukee Artist of the Week is Call Me Lightning, a name on the local scene that is long overdue of our little award. The band emerged in 2004 with their first full length album on Revelation Records. They followed it with 2007’s “Soft Skeletons”, a record that I spontaneously bought shortly after its release, and a record that remains as one of my favorite local projects. After a release in 2008, as well as a great but troubled release due to label complications in 2010, the band went mostly quiet. Drummer Shane Hochstetler remained active with his studio, Howl Street Recordings in Bay View, which has consistently produced some of the best quality releases that the city has seen in a relatively short amount of time. (I also may have called Shane while I was a freshman in college, in hopes of working at the studio, but I’m sure he doesn’t remember that).

2014 has already seen the return of Call Me Lightning, though, with the release of “Human Hell”, their first full length release in four years. Now acting as a trio, Call Me Lightning still fire on all cylinders, packing a punch into every part of this album. Even with a four year interim between new releases, and a recording process that took over a year, the band retains its signature sound, which is beautifully arranged chaos if there ever was such a thing. Vocalist Nathan Lilley pushes himself to the limit as much as possible, while Hochstetler and bassist Tyler Chicorel keep an aggressive jam going to support him. It’s almost impossible not to nod your head along with some of these songs, such as thumping anthem “Our Time Is Over” and the faster paced “Not The One”. The band has a knack for songwriting, and that shows on this album.

When a member of your band owns a studio, and consistently records, produces, and mixes bands, you’re going to get a pristine, wonderfully produced album in return. “Human Hell” is near perfection in this sense. Every ooh and ahh sounds like it was meticulously placed into these tracks, and it is a testament to the great music that comes out of Howl Street Recordings. All of the pieces come together to form a fun, energetic album, and a triumphant return for Call Me Lightning. Stream “Human Hell” below, via 25 Diamonds’ Bandcamp:

For more Call Me Lightning, like them on Facebook.

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