Circa Survive: Violent Waves
With every other Circa Survive release, I waited anxiously, without fail, for a taste of the new music, my excitement growing exponentially until the album was finally playing in its entirety on my speakers. Irony struck with the sudden announcement, and also short wait I had with Violent Waves; the new Circa album was barely a blip on my musical radar. Maybe it’s a sign that I’m growing older, and admittedly straying from the genre entirely.
What’s more likely, however, is that, over time, I simply lost interest in the band altogether. Their last release was actually quite decent; the band hadn’t lost any of their fervent, and certainly didn’t fall on the sword of major label production. Ultimately, the songs just weren’t as lasting or powerful as their earlier records (namely, Juturna).
But from the moment the announcement of a self-released, self-funded, and self-promoted record was on the horizon for Circa Survive, I knew something special was en route. Whether it’s Geoff Rickley (Thursday)’s buried vocals on the intense song “The Lottery” or the Avalon-esque beauty and guitar effects on “Think Of Me When They Sound,” Violent Waves is the band’s masterpiece. Â Every end of the spectrum is not only represented, but capitalized on; the mellow, beautiful songs are just as prolific as the intense, throaty post-hardcore anthems. Â “Bird Sounds” is reminiscent of the more super-charged, anthem-driven songs Anthony does bestâ€“â€“vocal melodies and an explosive chorus reveal a nostalgic edge seemingly lost in some of their later albums’ songs. Â “In the most unusual way,” Green cheers, practically inviting the crowd to banter along.
The beautiful, structured guitar melodies and splendid vocal dynamics are balanced quite nicely; gone are the droning ballads like “I Felt Free.” Â Instead, more dramatic and complex guitars fill their place, met with a crisp sense of rhythm. Green’s vocals don’t overpower the record; the production allows for all of the instruments to be showcased. Â The album’s eerie closer reminds this reviewer of another amazing album closerâ€“â€“see “End of a Fraud” (Armor For Sleep).
This quick in the game, it’s hard to say whether this record is the best Circa Survive record to date, but it’s apparent the band’s genuine sense of songcraft needs no labelâ€“â€“in fact, one might say it soars even further without.