My favorite albums are albums that have done something, something that has touched me emotionally, given my mind a different atmosphere (?), or has just hit a chord in my head that makes me feel good. Circle takes the square
's As the Roots Undo
has definitely accomplished this. This a record that just shifts through melody and chaos so perfectly it's almost hard to listen to.
So I know what you're thinking. "Yeah, and every other hyped up emo-screamo-post hardcore band". That's definitely what you would think in this scene that we've been delivered, but it's wrong. Only few bands accomplish this the way Circle takes the Square does it. Off Minor, Saetia, and Envy can go beside the band in this category, but they're a selection of the selection. Unlike most bands, Circle can make a gorgeous ambience with their own pedal driven guitar, low drums, whispered vocals regularity. This is smacked together with some of the most brutal, and chaotic hardcore imaginable. The guitar work is heavy as it is technical, and the rhythm section is like a bulldog running kilometers a minute. Drew Speziale was the only guitar playre on the record, but both rhythm and lead work flow seamlessly together to dynamically form the heavy and melodic side of the band. The bass work is not often at the main stage of attention, but it keeps the music driving. The drum work, however is key. When the band goes full throttle the drums go head first. Whether they're playing simply or complexly, drummer Jay Wynne works hard to drive the chaos, at any tempo.
But what realy drives the music (chaos and beauty) of this band is the two vocalists, guitarist Drew Speziale, and bassist, Kathy Coppola. The male and female system gives the band variety even when smacked together, and in call and response sequence. Drew's vocals tend to be the most guttural and grind driven, while kathy's are usually like frantic yells trying to break free of some type of mold. The production wasn't a charm for her; she is often barely audible behind the roar of guitars. But her spitfire energy shines through most of the record. While being experts at blood thirsty screams, the vocalists could still whisper and mutter during the slow-paced, easy tempoed tracks. The breathtaking whisper of Wade in the Water, Wade in the Water
, during the seemingly blistering opening track Same Shade as Concrete
, shows how easily they can switch from heavy to calm in a matter of seconds.
Lyrically, the album definitely breaks the normal emo mold. A well thought out concept of a journey of self realization, that takes the protagonist exactly were he started. With lines like Whispers invoke the artists of this tragically seemless, ill fated tapestry, blistered fingers are tending their loom. She collects the strands to braid into life.
, and "Which compulsion with this miniature death tributize? From behind the walls of my broken coughing tent, a formal vision, but I allude to my helpless passion for the obtuse When will this night end?"
, the record can show emotion, while telling a poetic story. What makes this special, however, is how the lyrics can represent the music perfectly. The enlightment is represented by the electronically constructed ambience, and on tracks like A Crater to Cough In
, some of the most well constructed yet beautiful bass and guitar interplay imaginable. The distraught hopeless side is represented by, of course, the brutal hardcore.
The bands best moments are when they derive from post-rock, and begin with almost nothing, and puts you into a musical trance, and before you know it, you’re in a incredible grind section. This is represented on my favorite track n the record, Non Objective Portrait of Karma
. It begins with incredible ambient guitar work, that sets the mood for the song. For a minute or two, this carries on with more guitars to create a slightly eerie mood. Then, bass and a guitar some in. The guitar is amplified, and the simple riff sounds epic. Then the vocalists begin to whisper until it gets louder and louder until before you know it, the drums kick in and they’re screaming heavily, over power chord guitars, lines like Bored as *** with this street corner-cover. study of a face in a figure. surveying this language as a game surveilence of this language as the plague.
. No matter how they're playing, the band is always focused and always dead on together no matter what.
Categorizing the album is a challenge. The only band that has come close to the innovation that is represented on this record is Off Minor, but in an entirely different factor of mixing jazz and hardcore. And since experimental-progressive-emoscreamo-ambient hardcore isn't very catchy, the categorization is pointless. After listening to such a masterpiece, categorization is impossible; your mind will be at a blank mode.