Circa Survive have a new album. Yes, it's ace. Read why, here... Skyscraping in scope and with a matched level of ambition, intelligence and intensity, Circa Survive’s fourth effort is a blistering return to form and recalls the scene-slaying heights of 2007’s ‘On Letting Go’. Though the ….
Prog-punk pioneers Circa Survive are nothing if not ambitious and the band's fourth album sees them further stepping away from their Warped Tour roots to craft a disc that’s teeming with emotion without falling on emo clichés. Frontman Anthony Green's distinctive falsetto dances on top of everything from Minus The Bear-esque grooves (“The Lottery”) to spacey ballads (“Brother Song”) and psychedelic sing-alongs (“Phantasmagoria”) with equal passion while the inventive instrumentation—which sees the band bookending the disc with sprawling, seven-minute-long songs—proves punk rock and guitar solos don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Hell, they can sound pretty good together.
Review Summary: "Violent Waves" is a refreshing excursion into experimentation, but lacking the energy of "Juturna" and the pitch perfect songwriting of "Blue Sky Noise," Circa's latest feels more like its uglier and blander brother, "On Letting Go." From the very beginning, Violent Waves presents itself as a very different Circa Survive outing. Darting out of the gate is the explosive “Birth of the Economic Hit Man,” a seven minute (long by Circa Survive standards) piece that features more interesting moments and transitions than most other songs by the band. It is a fluidly written song that displays the band’s more aggressive sound, as well as their more indie leanings.
During a very long, very bitter winter in my junior year of high school, with my newly minted driver’s license tucked inside my wallet, I found myself spending vast quantities of time piloting my mother’s Subaru over icy roads and listening to Circa Survive’s first full-length album, Juturna. Since Christmas was over, it seemed like the perfect soundtrack to the bleak season at hand — erie and ethereal, full of songs in minor keys. The piercing, androgynous voice of lead singer Anthony Green was unforgettable.
Nothing about the path Circa Survive have taken over the last seven years has been surprising. Formed by the adored frontman of a cult favorite and a handful of seasoned musicians with strong roots in progressive hardcore, the band release a couple of incredibly well-received albums for a revered indie label, growing their fanbase significantly; they make the jump to a major and issue possibly their best record to date; fail to see mainstream success regardless; and decide to go the independent route. This story's old, but it will go on and on until Circa disappear.