Circa Survive – Violent Waves


Artist

Album

Violent Waves

Label

Independent

Year

2012

For Fans Of

Cave In - Thursday

Summary

Out on their own and doing fine.

Rating

90 / 100

Circa Survive’s last album, ‘Blue Sky Noise,’ released in 2010, was a game changer. The moment where the band stepped up and became their own – saying, “look, we can blow your minds.” Fans were anxious and curious to see what the band would produce next, but first – business.

Blue Sky Noise’ was the band’s first major label effort, and while a brilliant record musically, commercially it did not perform the way a major label would have hoped. Now, on their fourth album ‘Violent Waves’ the band are going completely DIY, self-releasing as well as self-producing the record. The fact they have produced one of the finest sounding releases in their catalogue adds even more to their artistic talents.

The overall sound is big in this instance. Circa Survive are making a statement and pushing all of their various elements to the extreme. The full-length asserts itself early, with their newfound freedom taken full advantage of. The album opens with a seven minute long track ‘Birth Of The Economic Hitman‘. The song is an exercise in dynamics and progression, starting soft, then building into something quite dirty. It’s a mood quickly changed by funk influences on the following ‘Sharp Practice‘. This would be strange if it was some other band, but Circa Survive have made it clear that the unexpected should be expected when listening to their records.

To add a little extra excitement, Circa have included some guest appearances on the album. The most notable is Thursday front man Geoff Rickly, who appears on one of the stand out tracks ‘The Lottery‘. Rickly’s performance is perfect, giving the chorus lines a new dynamic and contrast to Anthony Green’s high-pitched croon. ‘Phantasmagoria‘ roots itself in folk, sounding similar to the Anthony Green solo recordings released earlier this year. But, as with most tracks, still includes the Circa ambience and atmospherics, which they seem to have mastered on this record by not over using the effects.

The album ends with another extended outing, ‘I’ll Find A Way‘, which closes things with a positive tone, offsetting some of the darker, particularly lyrical, themes of the songs that preceded.

Conclusion

As with the last record, it may take some listeners a few spins to warm up to ‘Violent Waves.’ However, don’t be fooled by its slower pace, as this album has plenty to offer if you are willing to give it the time.

Tracklisting

1. Birth of the Economic Hit Man
2. Sharp Practice
3. Suitcase
4. The Lottery
5. My Only Friend
6. Phantasmagoria
7. Think of Me When They Sound
8. Brother Song
9. Bird Sounds
10. Blood from a Stone
11. I’ll Find a Way

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