Circulatory System
Circulatory System


5.0
classic

Review

by Well_Respected_Man USER (13 Reviews)
January 16th, 2005 | 21 replies | 5,834 views


Release Date: 2001 | Tracklist


For those of you familiar with Neo-Psychedelia, Lo’Fi, and the Elephant 6 label, you know that there are a lot of bands out there that appear to just be rip-offs of classic 60’s bands like The Beatles, Strawberry Alarm Clock, and The Doors. Their albums usually only stay in your CD player for a couple of days and you feel like wanting more. Circulatory System is a much different type of band, the concepts and sounds this band comes up is a much needed breath of fresh air. I found myself in awe analyzing this record for this review and I have come to the conclusion that I would chose this album over Sgt. Pepper any day, no joke.

If you didn’t already know, Circulatory System is the band William Cullen Hart formed after the breakup of Olivia Tremor Control, another one of my all time favorite bands. Circulatory debuted with this album not too long ago in 2001. I’ve heard fans describing it as a mix between Olivia Tremor Control’s Dusk at Cubist Castle and Black Foliage: Animation Music and I can see where they are coming from, although there are some significant differences.

This debut is about twenty minutes shorter than past OTC releases with the collages of weird noises being completely gone. Actually not many of the songs go over two minutes, all the songs flow into each like one big song and its amazing how much ground is covered with the seamless flow between tracks. The sound is also darker and moodier, and in my opinion more confusing that past OTC records which says a lot given the complexity of Black Foliage: Animation Music.

Is this a concept album? I’m not sure, but I’m going to go ahead and call it one. You could get space themes form The Lovely Universe or feel like you are at sea with Should Symbols and Maps and Should a Cloud Replace a Compass? One thing can be certain thought, this is not a normal record at all and It wouldn’t be surprising if one went into a daydream or felt like going on vacation, and no I don’t do psychedelic drugs, I just like weird music, okay.

The drumming here is great. It’s due to the amount of extra tracking and extra percussion that gives a very full and tight sound. Symbols and Maps is a great example of the dense layering of the percussion sound. The effects of this layering is quite amazing, Symbols and Maps wouldn’t be dramatic without the fuzzy drums in the background.

The vocals also deserve a mention, the double tracks harmonies, whispers, and swirly melodies add a whole new world to the lush sounds already there. Honestly these vocals are that good; again I prefer them over The Beatles. The back up vocals are also superb, the melodies they sing are always catchy.

Overall I always enjoy falling asleep to this album, the whole feel is very relaxing almost in a trance like way, and I’m not meaning that in a bad way. Actually it’s much the opposite, when you are all by yourself listening to it you get more of opportunity to absorb different sounds, I’ve had this CD in my stereo on and off for the last two months, I’m still hearing new things.

For the most part, Circulatory System is not easy listening and referring back to my opening statements, this is not an album to listen to once, have fun, and then forget about it. I actually only started liking it about the fifth time I heard it. But this shouldn’t put you off; there were some standout tracks like Yesterday’s World, The Lovely Universe, and Symbols and Maps that I liked the first time round. I guess there was just something about it that I wanted made me give it another try.



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user ratings (48)
Chart.
4.1
excellent
other reviews of this album
J. Ponton EMERITUS (4.5)
Euphoric auditory liquid...

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Comments:Add a Comment 
Tangy zizzle
September 27th 2004


253 Comments


Sounds interesting. Good review dude.

I'll check them out.

Tangy zizzle
September 27th 2004


253 Comments


I listened to the songs. I like them, and i found them pretty accessible. Pretty easy to get into.

Well_Respected_Man
September 27th 2004


75 Comments


[QUOTE=Tangy zizzle]I listened to the songs. I like them, and i found them pretty accessible. Pretty easy to get into.[/QUOTE]
I thought they were too accessible the first time I heard them and didn't like it, then I suddenly started liking it later, but it varies per person I know.

k0wn
October 21st 2004


3 Comments


i love OTC...im thinking about getting this record..how much like OTC is it

Ornery Cephalopod
October 22nd 2004


21 Comments


I'm not sure whether it was this band of some other E6 band... But I think I heard one song and it didn't click with me.

But I was trying to songs from a bunch of E6 bands at the time and only got some from about half of the bands, so maybe I'm thinking about one of the others.

Yeah.

biografiend
April 21st 2005


55 Comments


One of my favorite CD's at the moment. Lovely.

BigRoachy
February 16th 2006


50 Comments


This is one of the coolest albums I own.

timbo8
January 15th 2009


618 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Really cool, interesting album. I should probably check out Olivia Tremor Control as well

PuddlesPuddles
February 24th 2010


4772 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Appropriately fits my mood right now

Really nice

plane
Staff Reviewer
May 10th 2010


6094 Comments


Really amazing album

Ponton
Emeritus
August 4th 2010


5793 Comments


album rules

wish i could enjoy their second like this

brutebeard
September 12th 2010


1655 Comments


dis iz sick

demigod!
November 9th 2012


44348 Comments


holy shit this is great

Digging: Portishead - Dummy

wacknizzle
November 9th 2012


13175 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah this is pretty awesome, not much different from OTC.

Digging: Ritual Mess - Vile Art

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
November 23rd 2012


4421 Comments


This album rules. "Should A Cloud Replace A Compass?" is my favourite. You really have to love the psych bands associated with the Elephant 6.

demigod!
August 2nd 2013


44348 Comments


damn, can't believe how few ratings these guys have. Psychs hard.

wacknizzle
August 2nd 2013


13175 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

People just haven't looked much deeper past OTC or into Elephant 6 in general. That's how I came across it.

demigod!
August 2nd 2013


44348 Comments


even OTC hardly have any ratings, it's sad.

anyways, have you checked these guys last album? probably going to soon

wacknizzle
August 2nd 2013


13175 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I downloaded a copy after it came out that I didn't realize was complete shit quality, not even the finished version of the album but I was under impression it was the real thing. I'd been meaning to get back to it for a long time now, it sounds pretty cool sampling it on spotify now.

Veldin
August 6th 2013


1187 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I enjoy this more than both of OTC's albums.

Digging: Kayo Dot - Coffins On Io



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