Circa Survive – Blue Sky Noise


Artist

Album

Blue Sky Noise

Label

Atlantic Records

Year

2010

For Fans Of

Saosin, Coheed and Cambria, The Sound of Animals Fighting

Summary

Okay, this rules.

Rating

90 / 100

Apart from being the proud parents of their brilliant children – ‘Juturna’ and ‘On Letting Go’, mastering in the field of musical fanasticism and being the finishing piece to the royal puzzle that is Atlantic RecordsCirca Survive, are magicians. ‘Blue Sky Noise’, is their top hat. Their hocus pocus. Their sparkling crystal ball; taking listeners on a journey through lands more magical, mysterious and enchanting than Avatar’s Pandora, and World of Warcraft’s Azeroth, combined. When a band wins over the world in two releases and is awaiting their third, within fans there is always the uncertainty of its ability to keep up the momentum. The five-piece from Pennysylvania have undoubtedly pulled a dove out of their sleeve and lifted it up into the air with their third, and latest installment – ‘Blue Sky Noise’.

The group plays the tight-rope walker superbly. Each of the twelve tracks showcase the band’s balancing skills – fusing intense dual guitar melodies with the shimmering, angelic vocals of Anthony Green perfectly. From the first track you’ll find new cards in play, the band throwing other-worldly synth lines and layers upon layers of guitar effects (I can’t begin to name) into the mixture to create an experience very similar to dipping your head into an oceanic aquarium filled with sea animals and fantasy creatures that somehow grew gills. Like you’d imagine this aquarium, all the colours of the fish blend perfectly together, weaving in and out of strange marine plants in pure harmony, with the occasional underwater unicorn and mermaid peeking out here and there to provide an unexpected, yet pleasant surprise. Indeed, as track one foreshadows, listeners will find themselves in none other than ‘Strange [but refreshingly cool] Territory’.

Like chapters in an epic, each song is characterised by its own unique feel and emotion; progressing the album in an engaging and satisfying manner. Whilst just under 50 minutes in play-time, there is no sense of repetition or sameness throughout. ‘Felt Freeand ‘Frozen Creek’ provide a smooth down-tempo break amidst the intensity of the album, truly bringing the band’s trademark atmospheric sound to the forefront. A child choir is featured in ‘Glass Arrows’ – their angst-filled chants embellishing the full-on feel of such tracks written in this tone. Beneath this throughout is the giant bass; pounding with a heavy punch and a tinge of distortion. This is fucking dope. Entirely, Circa Survive exploit their musical capabilities and whilst sounding technically difficult, choruses especially are defined by the passion in Mr. Green’s soaring vocals.

Conclusion

Following the mass appraisal of its previous release – ‘On Letting Go’, Blue Sky Noise’ needed Circa to bring every one of their coins, cards and rabbit-in-the hat tricks to continue their winning streak of amazement. Each time I see that act where the magician chops the pretty lady in half, and pulls each part of her body away to reveal a definite slice through the torso, I’m always thinking, “how the ballsack did he pull that off?!” Without a doubt, from listening to their latest album, many fans will be left with the same thought. Whilst distinctly new and somewhat different, Circa Survive’s latest installment holds true to their signature sound in experimental rock, certifying their title as ‘one of the most visionary and forward-thinking young bands in contemporary rock music today.’ 

Tracklisting

1. Strange Terrain
2. Get Out
3. Glass Arrows
4. I Felt Free
5. Imaginary Enemy
6. Through the Desert Alone
7. Frozen Creek
8. Fever Dreams
9. Spirit of the Stairwell
10. The Longest Mile
11. Compendium
12. Dyed in the Wool

6 Responses to “Circa Survive – Blue Sky Noise”

  1. Elan

    Great review, even better album. I love this band.
    Also, track one is “Strange Terrain,” not “Strange Territory”

  2. juturna83

    I would reach many of the same conclusions, though through different reasoning (ie with the pretense).

    Album of 2010.

    Compendium > Dyed in the Wool = track(s) of 2010.

    A masterpiece.

  3. ellewilliams

    This band has not stepped a foot out of line. And to have 3 amazing albums out of 3 is freaking incredible. This album is my favourite by far.

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