My rock roots go strongly back to the 1970s and ’80s, but I still like to look for favorable rock music in the modern day when time permits. Calisus (pronounced “kah-lee-sus”) is one of those bands that has come onto my radar. The Maryland sextet’s new single “Now or Never” is everything I like to hear in a modern day rock record – a wall of guitars, a strong melody, powerful singing, and a gut busting rhythm section. Calisus accomplishes all of that in this latest epic song. From the monster riff driven opening, the quality is there, as the track drips with energy, attitude, and passion. Everything is catchy as hell, but that doesn’t mean the band trades in their energetic hard rock side.
It’s tough to find a powerful and accessible hard rock song that doesn’t suffer from some sort of weakness, whether it’s recycled riffage or lack of a hook, but “Now or Never” is perfect down to every single lyric and chorus. Yes, everything about this track is perfection: the intro, the verse, the hook-laden chorus, and the guitar solo. It’s a song that’s bound for radio rock glory.
A band whose future success will probably ride on being accessible for radio and the casual listener, Calisus have managed to create their own sound without acquiring any rough edges. The song itself is coherent, intelligent, perfectly executed and well-produced by guitarist Patrick Koch.
“Now or Never” is a vigorous, empowering, and uplifting track that hits you fast and hard. That’s a good thing, since Calisus will certainly be building their legacy on such aggressive-yet-cathartic and melodic sounds, all held in place by singer Zack Constable’s thick, soul-soaked vocals and pensive lyrics.
“‘Now or Never’ is a song everyone can relate to. It’s got a motivational, anthemic hook,” says Zach. “When you turn it on you get a feeling deep down inside like ‘this is my time, it’s now or never.’”
The entire track benefits from its structural build-ups and crashing choruses. The hook in “Now or Never” is probably one of the best I’ve heard in hard rock in years. It sounds more epic, more polished, and is all-around more memorable.
The thing that makes this record so great is how immersing and irresistible it is. The song makes a firm impression immediately, seizing attention with excitable guitars and suitably aggressive vocals. It will have you singing along by the second listen and find you humming the hooks to yourself.
“Now or Never” is the only track I’ve ever heard by Calisus thus far, so I may be making a rather hurried and inaccurate statement here, but to me the band sound like purveyors of good, solid, accessible chart rock – the kind of music that endears the masses but still packs a fervent punch for the hard rock faithful!