Circa Survive - Blue Sky Noise (Atlantic/Warner)

To tell the truth, I was rather perplexed when I noticed this album in the handful of CDs our Glorious Editor sent me to review. I was familiar with Circa Survive, and they sure as hell weren't metal. There are a huge number of bands in punk and hardcore who have strong links with and influences from metal, but Circa Survive ain't one of them. But what the hell, right?

For those of you who I haven't driven away already - and being as this is a site which is not merely Metal, but Metal as Fuck, I can hardly blame you - Circa Survive are emo.  No, no, don't run away - this is emo in the original use of the word, before the term got applied to any music with guitars and vocals about an unsatisfactory childhood and appropriated by dickheads with shitty haircuts.  It's a style of melodic post-hardcore, but also influenced by the wonderfully depressing Jawbreaker and the mid-90s pop-punk scene, best recognised by big anthemic sounds which sweep the listener along without overt singalong choruses.

Is Blue Sky Noise any good though?  Well, not really. 

 

Circa Survive have made good albums before – I don't mind listening to On Letting Go every now and then – but this is a significant step backward.  There's an obvious attempt at anthemic sweep, but it falls flat here.  The riffs, which were already sparse, skeletal sort of things, have no power behind them.  And the vocals, gotta say, are really bad.  They were awkward but acceptable on previous albums, but here they're wimpy and girly as all get out.  I heartily promote listening to stuff that ain't metal, but for your own sake, don't start here.  I guess the cover art is pretty sweet though.

 

Circa Survive's Blue Sky Noise is out now on Atlantic/Warner.