Circa Survive – ‘Violent Waves’ Review
Words: Bo Bayerl
Proving to be another success, Circa Survive released their fourth studio album, ‘Violent Waves’ this past August. Record label problems aside, the band sought to produce a record with their live sound, which the band claims is one of their major facets. The change from leaving the record label appears to have benefited the band very well as they ultimately achieved the raw, live sound they were hoping for. Any listener might say that it brings them back to a time when they saw Circa Survive live or any band, for that matter.
The opening track, “Birth of an Economic Hit Man” seems as if it’s screaming the album title as the power-driven sound and vocals of lead singer Anthony Green are heard at new levels. Collectively, the first three tracks have a psychedelic feel to them. Two of them, being singles off of the album. The first single, “Sharp Practice” starts off with an opening guitar lick that progresses into an intense ballad. The second, “Suitcase” differs the mood by slowing down slightly to offer a more contrasting sound than the first, which tends to be a common theme throughout the rest of the album.
The second half of the album, however, slows down a bit with “Think of Me When They Sound” and “Brother Song.” With just guitar, a backing electric beat, echo vocals, and an instrumental outro, “Think of Me When They Sound” has my vote for underrated track and is my personal favorite. “Bird Sounds” picks up the speed with simple verses and a powerful chorus. The closing song, “I’ll Find A Way” wraps up the record well with a simple, yet lasting chorus along with a well-done guitar solo mid-song. It sounds like it would be a perfect fit at end of an action movie as the “good guys” overcome the “bad guys” and walk off into the sunset. The last song concludes with three short guitar strums and fades instantly into an instrumental outro as the album reaches its end.
If you like their repetitive music style, Violent Waves is chalk-full of it. Other than tempo, the record does not seem to vary much at all. The raw, live sound gives the album some spice that makes Circa Survive fans, as well as skeptical, new fans wanting more of what the band has to offer away from a record label.
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