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Circa Survive - Blue Sky Noise CD (album) cover


Circa Survive


Crossover Prog

2.90 | 22 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

1 stars I want to begin by saying that I have deep respect for Anthony Green's work in Circa, as well as with The Sound of Animals Fighting, Zolof the Rock and Roll Destroyer, Good Old War, etc. Steve Clifford and Nick Beard have laid down some of the most badass rhythm section work to date. I adore Juturna and On Letting Go, Circa's two former full-lengths.

But if you are expecting something on par with Circa's former work, you won't buy this album.

Compare these lyrics from "Stop the Car" off Juturna:

"Spinning lights, don't be scared, You have given so much more. Spinning lights, take me there, He has risen, pull me under. Don't stop talking to me, I haven't been listening."

with "Imaginary Enemy:"

"You're so careless, careless. How did you get so ungrateful? You treat me like I'm a disease and it's been killing me."

As you can see, the lyrics have downgraded tremendously, and this trend continues with every other element of the band. I'll work from the bottom up. Steve Clifford's drumming on Juturna is fantastic; on OLG, god-like. He opens solo on "The Difference Between Medicine and Poison..." and that groove alone stands to prove his prowess as a drummer. Compare that, or any other groove on OLG, to Blue Sky Noise, and you will find a poorly simplified, poorly recorded sound that doesn't belong.

Being a bass player, I have always been envious of Nick Beard's style and sound. That stops with Blue Sky Noise. When Beard is audible, he does not groove. He sounds crunchy and disconnected, overlooked. Colin Frangicetto and Brendan Eckstrom, Circa's twin guitarists, seemed more interested in making up crummy build-ups than focusing on their tone and playing. They don't sound like they've developed as musicians.

Of course, Green's singing is respectable as always. He has the kind of powerful, unique voice that can cut through lame instrumentals. Unfortunately, his vocals are dumbed down and over-mastered. Gone are the subtle harmonies and counter-melodies of his former work. He sounds like he's trying too hard.

And that is another common thread of BSN. This sounds like a hastily mastered, poorly written album by a new band trying to get their sound out, not like established musicians with a dedicated fan base that are broadening their horizon.

If you took any band that had two strong albums on a respectable indie label like Equal Vision, and gave them a massive contract with Atlantic, change would be expected. If you were to take said band and give them the opportunity to work with people like David Bottrill and Rich Costey, a year devoted to writing alone, and a massive major label contract, you would expect a great album. Mainstream? Yes. Easier on the ears than their former work? Yes. The shoddy, inebriating, poppy-bullshit-schlep that is Blue Sky Noise?


iheartjaco | 1/5 |


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