Russian Circles - Geneva
Record Label: Suicide Squeeze
Release Date: October 20, 2009
Instrumental music comes as a hard task for some. First off, there's no words to cling to. Choruses and repetitive toe taps and hand claps are nowhere to be found. Many songs weigh in at staggering four minute-plus averages that many of our quick, unfocused minds want no part of on our go-go-go lives.
Some of us need a Daughtry ABABCB single.
Luckily, for the rest of us, we have appreciation for bands such as Explosions in the Sky, Mono, Pelican and many others.
Russian Circles came on to the scene in 2004, and released their bombastic debut Enter in 2006. After switching some atmosphere up with last year's Station, the band's third album progresses forward yet again.
Geneva is bold from the start. A siren of strings ring out on the opening "Fathom" as its ambiance builds into a climbing start of an album. The album's title track is driving, as bassist Brian Cook is more apparent on this album, his instrument taking a step forward to align with Dave Turncrantz's drumming and the layering of Mike Sullivan's guitar.
This is a band that has taken their last art school drawing, and has now painted a mural on the side of the school's building.
After the first two tracks, everything comes crashing down into a dark, yet elegant timbre. Following "Melee" and "Hexed All," "Malko" finger taps a positive build only to end up into a dark, Russian Circles' mushroom cloud. The album ends in cryptic rolling credits of held notes and eventually drowns out in feedback and distant strings. "Philos" may just be the band's best closer to date.
There's a lot to take in upon the first few listens of Geneva. There's no more quick-draw riffs and movements, instead the band has opted to build a living soundtrack, complemented in minor details. The one downside to the album is fewer memorable parts compared to their previous records, but it's not the four bar phrases that should get the listener this time, it's the complete work that should saturate the ears.
Really dig this record. The first few tracks seemed a little too-almost industrial to me? But I really dig the whole thing now. Time will tell if I like it more than Station, which is a tough act to follow.