Comments and elaboration about the band, their fan base and this album.
1) When they went on tour with with Ours in 2007, their fan base boo-ed, gave the middle-finger and threw quarters among other things at Jimmy Gnecco of Ours.
2) Upon my 1st positive impression of the band in 2006, some clown posted automatically playing videos of some other band or artist on their myspace page. I messaged the user who did that and expressed my disinterest for the good of the band. The reason being, when someone unfamiliar with a band, clicks on their myspace page, they should hear THAT BAND, not a video of some other band who has some user post a video when signing their page. I explained this to the user in a private message and they ended up taking all sorts of offense to it and had no agreement with me. In fact, I question whether they even understood why what they did was a problem. And it wouldn't surprise me they did the same on many other band's pages. But it's childish behavior like that, which is another example of how tactless many of their fan base are.
And then just recently on this very blog, a few of the responses to this entry I posted expressing my opinion and actually IN SUPPORT of the band in a lot of ways. If people actually follow why I would even include anything about them at this stage, they'd understand it was only because I may actually be able to like them again. But to not include my background and the whole context of my experience with them and their music would just be lacking in telling the honest truth.
But some of their fan base are still as petulant as how Anthony Green can sound, they had to try and reply to said entry no matter. Hardly the only examples (on this blog), but those failed trolling reply attempts were pretty much the end of my allowing ANY COMMENTS on this blog.
But with all that being said, my impressions of this album are this.
This album is better than their other 2 lps, but the biggest fundamental problem with this band still exists, and I'd assume will always exist as long as they have Anthony Green as their singer. He still sounds like a whiny little brat far too often. David Botrill's presence sadly didn't change that much if at all. He sounds like a kid who is sent to his room by his parents kicking and screaming. He annunciates certain words like a girl or a mother. "Grouwwwww-nd" for example at 1 point. No! no! no! Don't sing it like that you little kid! You sound like a spoiled brat when you do!
The sad thing is, he can sound good, or at least older and more mature when he sings in lower registers. In fact there's 1 track, a piano ballad that he does and his vocals sound fine on that song. If the whole album, and pretty much every song he ever sang in the future was that way, his vocals would be not only listen-able, probably pretty good. And actually, there are some moments he does chant or sing out higher, especially when doing harmonies and not using any words, that sound good. Like Jonsi from Sigur Ros or even Jimmy Gnecco in a way. But it's way too few and far between still. Maybe if they made an album with no lyrics, but him just chanting with oohs, ahhs, and la la la's, his voice would work.
It's awful how much of a waste the music on this album is, because there is some really fine guitar work and textural writing here. It would probably be good for the lead guitarist and drummer to do music in another project without Anthony Green, and get a better or at least adequate singer. Get the guy from Minus the Bear even, given Circa Survive is basically like Minus the Bear with a little kid singing. Such a sad waste of good music, and a waste of a major label release and record deal. And a waste that Kaddisfly didn't get said deal. All they need to do is get an acceptable singer, or hell even have him sing like he does in spots, and this would potentially be a fine record..maybe even a top 10 for the year. The cymbals clipping in spots were the only other issue with it, but the music is so good, that it would probably become a minor issue.
But no, I'm done with this band. The best producer in the music business today, David Botrill, couldn't fix their singer, so I don't know why I should believe it'll ever happen.
edit: track list added below.
This 3rd lp is being released on 4/20/2010 as well.
1. Strange Terrain
2. Get Out
3. Glass Arrows
4. I Felt Free
5. Imaginary Enemy
6. Through the Desert Alone
7. Frozen Creek
8. Fever Dreams
9. Spirit of the Stairwell
10. The Longest Mile
12. Dyed in the Wool
Studio album by Circa Survive
Released April 20, 2010
Genre Experimental, Indie rock, Ambient, Progressive rock
Label Atlantic Records
Producer David Bottrill
key word in this is David Botrill, the man who has a very impressive resume at getting bands to SOUND GOOD. Fair to Midland's breakthrough "Fables From a Mayfly:..." is a perfect example in a lot of ways.
But as maybe I have or yet to have posted in this blog, Circa Survive I more or less cannot stand. I can't stand Anthony Green's 12-year-old-spoiled-brat feminine vocals. And maybe even more than the range of his voice, THE STYLE. the way he expresses himself. Blech..he sounds like Thom Yorke..maybe worse at times. blech blech blech..finger-nails-on-a-chalkbaord.
However, when I learned of Botrill's working with them, I decided I would give them 1 more shot. If ANYONE can get Green to sound listenable it would be Mr.Botrill.
Well, I'm not sure yet, but this 1st single sounds okay from hearing it once. And also what Botrill is a master of, is getting the LAYERS and ARRANGEMENTS to show muscle and punch. Compare the songs from i.f.s to Fables..that is certainly 1 of the big differences.
This album still may suck and Green as well, but like Riverside last year, I won't be shocked to find this to be the only thing this band ever has made/will make worth my time. Hopefully he got Green to start showing some balls and sing thicker and deeper. Not like the pussy he always sounds like on their 1st 2 albums.
And perhaps Botrill has also influenced their music itself to be much better. Which at times, separating what they have had without the appalling singing, has had some moments. But maybe Botrill got their instrumentalists and the band to finally grow up and become a professional band.
But if this sucks more or less as much as their others, I will never have any interest in this band again, until Green is gone as their singer.
also a little ironic and almost annoying how this new single is put up the very day Water & Bodies (the guys from Kaddisfly) release their new EP. This CS album is their major label debut, the deal that Kaddisfly was going for and in-effect lost to this vastly inferior band. ironies..they always force their way into these events..