Exposé Online banner

Cal Rock & Roll — Homegrown
(Guerssen Out Sider OSCR046 / OSRCD046, 1982/2016, LP / CD)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2016-09-20

Homegrown Cover art

Cal aka Cal Rock & Roll was a mid-70s band from New York formed by some veterans of the club scene: Larry Calabrese (guitar and vocals), Andy Barone (bass), Jerry Joy (drums and vocals), and Jeffrey Gaer (keyboards). In 1980 they recorded their only album, Homegrown, in Larry’s home 8-track studio and then released a limited edition of 2000 albums in 1982. Most were discarded because of pressing faults and the album vanished into obscurity until some psych dealers and collectors discovered the remaining copies in the 90s. In the early 80s, Larry did meet Todd Rundgren, who expressed some interest in the band, but given what this album sounds like, I am thinking that Todd was merely being polite as nothing ever developed. Homegrown contains eleven mostly mediocre tracks. This album flew under the radar in the 80s and in my opinion it should have remained there. Larry’s vocals are very smooth and mellow and in combination with the “macho” lyrics of many of the songs, the result is laughable. I would call this music poser rock. There is a thread running through the songs where he wants to “get it on girl.” Then there is this out of place and odd patriotic song “What’s Going On.” It is not until we get to the fifth track “State of Mind” that there is anything of interest. This song is a mixture of acoustic guitar and synths with a nod to Tim Buckley. I assume this is Jerry singing as there is an edge to the vocals. The sixth track is an instrumental version of “Today” with the vocal version being track 8. This prog/Krautrock instrumental is the best on the album and is remarkably good. But the remainder of the music is nothing to write home about. In fact many of the lyrics are insipid and predictable. For example there is this line from “Couragous Cat” (sic):

Can you stay with me tonight?

I know your love is out of sight, girl

And this other line from “Party Party”:

Come on everybody let’s get it on

Come on everybody let’s party party

"Party Party" is embarrassing! And then lo and behold, a particularly uninspired drum solo comes out of nowhere to end the song. The closing track “Young & Angry” is pure avant-garde with synths and processed narration of a poem. And I cannot get past the mispronounced “drownding!” So in summary, do not waste your hard earned money on this reissue.


Filed under: Reissues, 2016 releases, 1982 recordings

Related artist(s): Cal Rock & Roll

Latest news

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Tony Levin - Pieces of the Sun – Tony Levin’s newest release is a true band effort, the direct result of touring after his previous CD, Waters of Eden (previously reviewed). He remains on the Narada label, though (even more...  (2002) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues