» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]


 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Circa Survive
Equal Vision Records

Rating: 7.5/10 ?

August 24, 2005
Some say everything happens for a reason, but one could only guess what prompted Anthony Green, while waiting for a flight to L.A., to quit Saosin and head back to Philadelphia instead. Because of this audacious decision, Circa Survive was born. Colin Frangicetto picked up Green from the airport at 6:00 a.m. and the two wrote "Handshakes at Sunrise" the very next day. It wasn't long after that Frangicetto's ex-This Day Forward band mate, Brendan Ekstrom, was brought on board, as well as drummer Steve Clifford and bassist Nick Beard from Taken. Before playing a single live show, Circa Survive was signed, and managed to successfully incorporate their diverse musical backgrounds into a beautiful amalgamation of sound and poetry they call Juturna.

The album begins with "Holding Someone's Hair Back", which serves as a nice intro, full of promise. Anticipation builds with a few lazy guitar chords until Green comes in with "Don't say a word/don't be grateful/if I ever made you laugh". Green's vocals are unique, having come a long way since his days with Saosin; his voice is often soothing and passionate, but can also be aggressive and coarse, usually changing when you least expect it to.

"I know what it feels like/giving into something you don't understand," Green empathizes on "The Glorious Nosebleed" while detached guitars wander in the background. "Look how high I'm jumping from," he sings, explaining that "This sort of thing gets you out of mind right before impact".

"Oh, Hello" starts off heavily, with a swell of dueling guitars joined by a throaty scream and ends with a whistle; the song features more of Green's abstract lyrics which are uncommonly disconnected, like a storybook in which every other sentence has been left out. "All I want are windows/it wouldn't be the first time", he belts out, "Didn't I know you/all along we've been". Circa Survive finally navigates their way out of the dark, space prog-rock forest with "Meet Me in Montauk", a mellow acoustic track full of laughter and echoing choruses. As a sidestep, it is interesting, but soon they recoil back into their despondent, paranoid isolation as a hidden track follows in true form.

The only problem with this album is its lack of musical variance. The instrumentals sometimes go unnoticed in the background, as the band relies on Green's vocals to carry them through, song after song; Frangicetto and Ekstrom could easily enhance their sound if only they'd play with the same lack of restraint that Green sings with. Still, Juturna is a solid debut, and if Circa Survive can master the harmonization proven in songs like "Act Appalled" and "The Great Golden Baby", great things can be expected from them in the future.

Reviewed by Oran Stainbrook

See other reviews by Oran Stainbrook



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