Circa Survive – Blue Sky Noise
Few bands on the planet, if any can manage to pack as much heart, talent and musicianship into an album as the gents in Circa Survive, and with the phenomenal Blue Sky Noise they have managed to take it to another level. One that is sure to offer up some crossover success.
Circa Survive’s brand of experimental, progressive post-hardcore, started out amazing and still, somehow, managed to continuously push the bar higher and higher. Led by the voice of the incomparable Anthony Green, Circa built their sound around the punishing experimental guitar work of Colin Frangicetto and Brendan Ekstrom that, like Greens voice, a way to be technically, mystifying while soothing and other worldly.
The band, Green, Frangicetto, Eckstrom along with drummer Steve Clifford and bassist Nick Beard, put out their first album Juturna in 2005 to intense scrutiny due to Green leaving underground buzz band Saosin just prior to forming Circa Survive. The album found a home with fans who enjoyed it’s altered states feel and Green’s ethereal voice.
The follow up, 2007’s On Letting Go saw the band take things to the next level with an album that was equal parts experimental and blistering, while maintaining the air of confidence and sense of confusion that had carried over from Juturna. That album saw Circa Survive debut at #24 on Billboard.
Heralded as the bands most accessible album to date, Blue Sky Noise hooks listeners in, right off the bat with the opening bars of lead track Strange Terrain, which is at once catchy and Melodic. From there the song bends into a modern rock song punctuated by one of Green’s more laid back and subdued performances and intense backing vocals. A strong chorus and incredible musicianship set the tone for the entire album.
Imaginary Enemy takes the Circa formula and applies it to straight ahead rock, and it works. This song isn’t breaking boundaries, but when you’re this good, not every song needs to redefine a genre. The guitar work sparkles and Green is, as always a monster behind the mic.
Spirit of The Stairwell offers an incredible example of the ability Green has to use his voice to reach out and grab, as it lulls you into a trance with its atmospherically acoustic opening. Green starts the song out in a similarly melodic place crooning sweetly along with the acoustic strumming. When Green’s voice reaches up into his wheelhouse on the line, “Then we saw a different side of “Annie” nobody saw, She tried to kill the baby” the song becomes heartbreakingly real, in a way that so few bands or singers can take a song.
This ability to not only craft incredible songs, but to also infuse them with feeling shines through on the majority of Blue Sky Noise.
Circa Survive are definitely one of the world’s most talented bands and their uncanny ability to continuously push themselves and their music to new and better levels is astounding, and Blue Sky Noise is a great example of that. The album is musically tight, lyrically gorgeous and an insanely enjoyable listen from start to finish. Circa survive are what music should be, what a shame that most bands aren’t talented enough to match up.