Circles – When The Big River Floods (CD)

To say that “Away With The Tide” is strung out is to seriously underestimate how loose Circles are playing at this point. There are a number of hits that shows the band as fans of early nineties alternative rock, but there just is nothing that unites all the disparate elements of Circles here. The fact that Circles almost break the five minute mark with “Away With The Tide” almost puts the kibosh on the rest of the EP. The band just needs to come back with something more coherent for their title track, which follows right after the opening “Away With The Tide”.

However, Circles does not do anything of the sort with this track, which sounds as if Stevie Ray Vaughan is seriously fucked up on some hallucinogenic. The bad thing is that one can hear that each member of Circles is talented in their own right, but the lack of unity and the creation of a specifically Circles type of sound on this album holds the back from achieving anything in the way of success. There are a few moments when Circles are able to string things together in a linear fashion, but this disappears rapidly as the band moves into “Something The Cat Dragged In”. The band is able to develop their sound to a point that one can actually hear a cohesive song by Circles.

The tempo is still plodding and unsure, but the newer form of indie rock that the band assaults their listeners with is head and shoulders above anything else that previously hit listeners during “When The Big River Floods”. This EP has enough in the way of tracks and different material to get an idea what exactly Circles are all about. “Song for the Suburbs” is a poppy, almost punky-influenced rock track that will have individuals singing along with it soon after the track passes. The two different Circles that play on this disc will confuse listeners, however; know when the band links together all parts of their act to create a unified sound, that they are miles beyond the Circles that struggle to make anything on the first half of the CD. If Circles can continually come up with tracks like “Song for the Suburbs”, there will be virtually no chance that they will not break it big in short order. Let’s hope that this is the path that the band ultimately takes.

Top Track: Song For The Suburbs

Rating: 5.8/10

[JMcQ]

Circles – When The Big River Floods / 2006 Well Below / 7 Tracks / http://www.wellbelowrecords.com / Reviewed 11 October 2006

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