Review Summary: "Every parasite that kills its host, kills itself."
Cire is a band which many people do not know of. This is hard to believe, seeing as how they are based in New Orleans and sound similar to bands such as A Perfect Circle and Tool. Vocalist, Eric Johanson, makes up almost the entire band since he is the singer, composer, and guitarist. Johanson is accompanied by drummer Chris O’Guinn. It is somewhat difficult to determine what genre they belong to seeing how their sound is quite unique at times, but they would most likely fall under alternative rock/progressive rock.
Cire’s debut album, Adrenological
, was released in 2003 and bases their songs on pure emotion. Those of you who are familiar with A Perfect Circle and Tool will quickly notice that Johanson’s vocals sound strikingly similar to Maynard James Keenan. His soft, yet lulling voice is enough to grab your attention. He basically sounds like a softer, cuddlier version of Maynard, but at the same time unique in his own way.
The opening track of Adrenological
, titled Luca
, turns out to be one of the strongest tracks on the album. It quickly hits you with industrial sounds and the guitar has a raw feel to it. The bass lines are terrific as well. In Autonomy
, you get a better dose of Johanson’s vocals, for they dominate the song with his emotional tone, but are later replaced with a short guitar solo that could give you chills. I believe this song is about not giving in to authority as Johanson sings, “I'd chew off my own feet before stepping in line,” and later on follows it up with, “Rebellion is the bastard of conformity. Choose to step in line or choose your misery.”
Laugh Some Day
is another strong track, which goes back to industrial elements features an electronic pulse, and a grunge like guitar. It also has one of the best choruses on the album, “Life is full of risks. Take your pick and dive right in. We're approaching this all wrong, nothing comes from worrying.” “Red Queen” follows up with a delta blues guitar solo that is one of the highlights of the album.
It is clear that the first four tracks on Adrenological
are indeed the strongest, but let’s not take anything away from the rest of the album.
The short instrumental, Tryptamind
, and the underwater drowning sensation of All in the Appraisal
are some of Cire’s most unique tracks. The title track, Adrenological
, starts off as an acoustic masterpiece that has Johanson’s vocals haunting and soothing the listener at the same time, but later takes you by surprise when the heavy guitar riffs enter. Both tracks feature some of the best vocal performances from Johanson.
The longest track on the album, Spaceotemporal
, comes in at 8 minutes and 23 seconds. Johanson’s vocals are beautiful and the chorus slaps you in the face with emotion.
I would have ended the album with Spaceotemporal
, but the closing track, Meta
, has some interesting elements to it, for some of the song is sung backwards, and a tribal like drum beat is combined with a raw, grunge like guitar.
Three of the twelve tracks appear as filler tracks. Harmless?
and Coming in Tune
are only about a minute in length, while Clear
has a nice guitar solo, but becomes forgettable when compared to the rest of the album. Some tracks do sound a bit similar in certain parts, but there is enough diversity in each song that it doesn’t really matter.
The combination of acoustic, electric, blues, industrial, and progressive elements make it different from any album I've ever heard. Cire puts all these elements together as a whole and takes the listener on a pleasurable musical journey that is both intelligent and unique. This is definitely a band to watch out for in the near future. Also, if you like this band then you can check out Emptyself. Emptyself is Johanson’s other band, which is mellower, more acoustic version of Cire. This band may take a few listens to really appreciate them. It took me about five or six listens to fully understand what Cire is made of, but in the long run, it was well worth it.