Juicy riffs come oozing through our headphones as we encounter the beastly “Angels Are Not Afraid of the Dark” in track number five of Cwiredband’s Angel Circuit Engaged, which was released late last year. In this song, Cwiredband prove to be as much about the texture of their musicality as they are inspired lyricism, and though it’s admittedly one of the only conventional tracks that we’ll find in this all-new EP, I would argue that it’s not the only point of interest that the record has to behold. Angel Circuit Engaged follows the same formula as Omega did, but with a slightly increased volume swell in the climactic guitar solos we hear throughout the tracklist.
“Persian Woman” and “Botticelli Baby” seem a little out of place to me for what the other songs are presenting us with in this EP, but I don’t think that they’re totally devoid of magic. “Persian Woman” is a tad scattered compositionally, but it’s got a grinding percussive groove that redeems some of its internal flaws.
There’s a nice blend of pop song structures and reckless rock experimentalism in “Little Sisters,” “Climb the Mountain” and the title track, and despite a handful of hiccups in the transitions between the songs, I think that the majority of this release is steeped in genuinely smart songwriting. Obviously some of the tracks – namely “Climb the Mountain” and “Little Sisters” – would sound a lot more thrilling in person, but this sturdy master mix doesn’t sell them short in these studio versions of the songs at all.
The vocal from C-Wired himself gets pretty over the top in the title track, “Botticelli Baby” and “Persian Woman,” but aside from “Botticelli Baby,” the music that accompanies it tends to balance everything out with a contrasting simplicity.
Cwiredband are hardly your typical alternative rock group, and Angel Circuit Engaged is, from where I sit, probably the one record they’ve released that is as eccentric as their artistic personality is. It’s got a lot of intricacies to it – some good, some bad – but for the most part, it’s an extended play that I found to be accessible to new fans as well as old ones, and in the transitional time that pop music is experiencing right now, it is a slab of stability that many enthusiasts will be more than happy to embrace with arms wide open.