Circa Survive – Juturna (CD)

Circa Survive moves beyond the simple emo classification and during tracks like “Wish Resign”, really move into the realm of bands like The Mars Volta. The actual instrumentation of the band moves beyond the minor amounts of intelligence used in creating the average emo disc. Circa Survive’s sound is largely influenced by the bands that have preceded them. While the aforementioned “Wish Resign” is heavily tied to a Pink Floyd sound, the up-tempo sections of “The Glorious Nosebleed” seem influenced by The Police. Each of the tracks on “Juturna” maintain a tremendous coherence that shows listeners that even considering the fact that the band’s influences play such a big role, they are able to exert their will in a convincing way.

It wouldn’t be right if a review failed to mention the very epic sound of “Juturna”; each track, like a movement in a symphony explicates and extends what had already been done previously and really allows listeners to enjoy a greater cohesion than anywhere else. This is not some cobbled-together band that a label feels that they can just milk for umpteen million dollars, but the pedigree that Circa Survive holds really surpasses most current bands (with the only exception being Sparta). Saosin might have been an impressive band, but Circa Survive has a full sound to each track they create that only can exist because all the members have been around for so long. Still, this is a daunting album to sit down to and just listen, for the facts that it is both intimately connected with itself throughout and that the majority of tracks on “Juturna” pan out at over four minutes a shot.

The coherence of this album makes pointing to specific tracks virtually impossible; each of the tracks does not stand out as a radio track amongst chaff (like a number of these current emo discs) and must be reviewed as an entirety, not a confederacy. The only thing holding Circa Survive back in any meaningful way is the relatively narrow band of sound that the band plays throughout the disc. While the tracks are nowhere near as ambitious (or as long) as the aforementioned Mars Volta’s “Frances the Mute”, they are also nowhere are compelling or spontaneous as the MV tracks are. Circa Survive makes a 50 minute symphony in “Juturna”, but without a “1812 Overture”, the disc passes quietly away without much of a fight.

Top Tracks: The Great Golden Baby, Wish Resign

Rating: 5.1/10

Circa Survive – Juturna / 2005 Equal Vision / 11 Tracks / http://www.circasurvive.com / http://www.equalvision.com / Reviewed 31 May 2005

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