Circle Takes The Square - As The Roots Undo
Record Label: Robotic Empire
Release Date: January 6, 2004
I remember when The Mother, The Mechanic, and The Path fell into place for me, and I recall the day that Jane Doe just... worked. At first listen, these albums were somewhat strenuous to listen through. The only reason I sat through both these albums another three or four times before falling in love was the small listener's hooks. They were fantastic. They were catchy. They held your interest and held you to the album before leading to the final conclusion that both these albums were freaking fantastic. So is this how I felt about Circle Takes The Squares' debut (and only) album As The Roots Undo? Hell yes. And hell no.
Beginning with a haunting intro of somewhat macabre whistles drawing the listener into the first track, “The Same Shade As Concrete.” Immediately, you realize the band's superb lyrical talent. Both dark, true, and vivid the band croons and screams out such lyrical gems as:
Rejoice, rejoice a noble birth, a prince is born. Behold the birth of violence, beasts of fang and feather cry for our concrete rapture, and if we beg to be put down, unto us the most inspired storm. A princess ravaged by her prince behold; the birth of sex and distance, two frail corpses both were they, his eyes were the first to stray... every tree held fast the earth to sky.
The band easily constructs metaphors upon realism to portray a wonderful story throughout this concept album.
Coming next is the worst track on the album, “Crowquill.” The third track is a fast-paced, short song that leaves very short room for creativity. This is in stark contrast to the rest of the album which contains such musical-build ups as “Non-Objective Portrait Of Karma,” “A Crater To Cough In,” and “Kill The Switch.” Ultimately, the vocals and originality of this track are somewhat unsatisfying.
Throughout the album, we realize Circle Takes The Square's comfort zone: build into a heavy verse, drop into a soft, calming instrumental, and lead back into the heavy verse. However, despite the familiarity of this formula throughout the track, Circle takes originality by the balls and then gently lets go using dueling, opposite-sex vocals; thrash-based drumming, genre-bending guitars that can generate some energetic, wild, and all around awesome crust-punk, to slower and somewhat classically based instrumentals, and great precision and effective timing on all the aforementioned musicians' parts.
While the first part of the album seems to lack, the latter half progresses in intensity, talent, lyrical ability, and likability. My favorite track on this album was initially my least favorite, “Kill The Switch.” The track starts with the heaviest part of the album thus far, and continues before abruptly settling into multiple calm instrumental pieces, repeating this roller-coaster pattern over uneven intervals. This track maintains a perceptible groove throughout while keeping originality and talent intact. Drew Speziale shows his talent with a variety of vocal stylings in the track, while Kathy Coppola comforts us with her great voice. Together they time their vocals perfectly throughout a full fifty-plus-minute track.
So while a lot of this album may be off-putting at first listen, especially if you are new and subsequently uncomfortable with the genre as I was when you first tried out the album on your ears, it's a great album. Not necessarily a grower, but not necessarily an album you'll be mesmerized with if not familiar with the first-wave screamo/crust-punk type of music. Do yourself a favor and buy this album. Now!
Reccomend If You Like:
I Hate Myself, I Would Set Myself On Fire For You, Orchid, Saetia, I Wrote Haikus About Cannibalism In Your Yearbook, Pageninetynine, Envy.
Thank you. This is one of those albums that you're favorite songs changes every day. The only song on here I really dislike very frequently is Interview At The Ruins, but I like the first 2 minutes, and the lyrics are exemplary.