The Circles – Gonna Get To You (Skeleton Key)
Out: June 9, 2014
Can the debut EP from The Circles capture their characterful live blend of dizzy hedonism, sugar coated melodics and cosmic soul searching? Sean Diamond finds out.
The Circles are one of a handful of new acts signed to The Coral frontman James Skelly’s new label, Skeleton Key Records. I first came across them last year when they supported James’s brother Ian (The Coral’s drummer) during his gig at The Zanzibar with The Serpent Power. A three piece from Birmingham, they impressed with their aesthetic sharpness, killer vocal harmonies and balls out, bluesy rock ‘n’ roll riffs and abandon. A couple of weeks ago at their headlining gig at the same venue I got talking to Ian, and was handed a copy of a promotional copy of their debut EP, due for general release in early June.
As soon as the title track starts you’re instantly whisked away into a highway just off Route 66, a dark clouded piece of scuzzed-up voodoo blues lifted straight from the iPod of Baron Samedi as he leads your soul into the underworld. It’s also a damn fine tune; an insanely catchy combo of heavy riffage, raw like sushi singing and hooks so powerful you could skewer a pirate on ’em, a sizzling psychedelic stunner which will surely be one of THE main soundtracks to the summer.
Open Road continues the desert vibe; a paisley coloured cyclone hurtling its way towards the listener at relentless speed, only to be stopped in its tracks prematurely by the haunting acoustics of Twisted Words, a ghostly lament to broken promises and days gone by which brings to mind Supergrass at their most reflective, gazing with regret at the shadows of the things that might have been. Closing track Nothing Comes That Easy is a frenetic, angst-ridden rocker, buzzing with a sense of urgency and an intense, neurotic vibe like a 60s Northern Soul night where the effects of the tablets wore off hours ago.
It’s early days yet but, on this evidence, success on a world conquering scale can’t be too far off for The Circles. I don’t say these things lightly. There are many “rock ‘n’ roll” groups in this country whose misguided sense of self importance and brazenly wilful levels of underachievement, combined with frankly laughable claims of flying the flag for “real music” lovers often renders the term almost obsolete, their woefully blinkered views on life and the world in general all too often reflected within their recorded works.
These lads differ from those pretenders to the throne considerably. Although clearly not afraid to wear their influences on their sleeves, there is something, something inside the grooves and the hooks and the crooks, nooks’n’ crannies of the music contained within the shiny disc of this EP which tells you that The Circles mean it, mean it far more than the warriors of the ‘authentic’ could ever, ever hope to understand. What that ‘something’ is I’m not entirely sure, as I said before it’s early days, but it’s there. Oh make no mistake it’s there alright. Sometimes you just know. Simple as that…
Be sure to catch these boys live before they start selling out the big venues. This is the first chapter in a very long story, if I’m wrong may I eat my hat and change my name to Ringo. But I’m not wrong. I just know I’m not wrong. How the story will end I really don’t know, but I sure as hell know I will be watching with bated breath as The Circles escape from the cocoons of their social surroundings and emerge flying towards the universe as beautifully embroidered butterflies, 2000 light years from home and ready to roll.
Gonna Get To You is available on general release on 9th June 2014 on Skeleton Key Records. It can be listened to on the band’s Soundcloud.
The Circles Facebook.
All words by SEan Diamond, find his Louder Than War archive here.