Archive for the ‘Circa Survive’ Category

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At last! Circa Survive returns for it’s fourth album, Violent Waves. Anthony, Brendan, Colin, Nick, and Steve are back and at their best. They have put out a bit of an experimental deviation, as well as artist Esao Andrews, who has done all of their album artwork. Every album up to this one has been quite aggressive due to the hands of guitarists Brendan Ekstrom and Colin Frangicetto. All of the soul and attack still resonates from their amplifiers, but this time it just sounds a bit more refined. I believe this refined sound is due to the band opting for a live setup when recording this self produced album. Some have complained that the album was poorly mixed and the instruments all seem to clash rather than harmonize. Sometimes this can be a direct result of an inexperienced member taking the helm of the soundboard. I’m all for a well mixed album by another party, but I am always more interested in what a good band actually sounds like. Back in 2010, I had the pleasure of seeing them shortly after Blue Sky Noise was released. They sounded even better live and I believe this album is a testament to exactly what these guys are truly capable of when they are placed in a stripped down environment. Both Brendan and Colin have been the backbone of Circa Survive from day one and their abilities are what sets this band apart from every last one out there.

Violent Waves is an experience that you need to set time aside for, sit down and really listen to. It flows extremely well, rewarding the listener with a very fulfilling experience. The flow of this album is comparable to any Pink Floyd album from 1973 to 1979. If you turn it up loud enough, just shy of disturbing the peace, the music is at it’s best. It starts off with “Birth of the Economic Hitman,” which is an unrelenting build up of energy the slowly emanates from your speakers and ignites at the 1:27 mark. Also, pay close attention as you fade from “Phantasmagoria,” and sink into “Think of Me When They Sound.” Anthony Green’s unmistakable vocal swoon will take you and every last one of your nerve endings to any cosmic destination you please. His abilities are quite unique and are an integral part in the making the this band’s intoxicating sound. My favorite tracks include “Suitcase”, “My Only Friend,” and “Brother Song.”

Overall, Violent Waves is a heavy dose of everything I love about Circa Survive…which would be everything. The mesmerizing vocals, distant, mountain sized howling guitars, over-driven bass, and sky cracking drums all melt together on a canvas of new possibilities. These five musicians once again prove that there are no rules and there is no formula for making great music. Pure talent, raw emotion, and inspiration are the framework for this effort. I have listened to it about 30 times and it gradually becomes more gripping with each and every play. You will hear something different each time you listen. So if you are seeking a break from the drab, repetitive nature of today’s popular music, do yourself the justice of buying this album. You will not be disappointed. I believe Circa Survive have successfully turned themselves into one of the most finely tuned, precise, and inspiring artists out there. Listening to what they have to offer has always been a pleasure for me. It never hurts to dig for something new. You will be pleasantly surprised at what you find along the way. This album can be an authentic and extremely valuable asset to your music collection. When next opportunity arises, stop. Take a long look around. Turn up Violent Waves and ENJOY.

 

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