Band: Circa Survive
Title: Appendage EP
Released: November 30th 2010
Label: Atlantic Records
Producer: David Botrill
Appendage is an appropriate title for this release as it sees the band flexing the extremities of their music. Circa Survive typically create atmospheric songs with an anthemic feel, utilising the powerful vocals of front-man Anthony Green. On their last album, Blue Sky Noise, we were given a series of songs that were straight-up rock songs, with simple and effective guitar patterns and choruses that were laced with hooks that made the songs live long in the memory. Upon hearing that album, you felt as though they’d truly found their niche: Blue Sky Noise is an incredible record.
This EP is a departure from that sound and sees the band experimenting with more expansive, loose-structured ideas. There’s less emphasis on verse-chorus style mentality with powerful hooks; the songs are much more relaxed and drawn-out, allowing Green’s vocals to carry the songs in a dream-like manner, with the music simply providing a non-intrusive backdrop. It’s almost post-rock sounding, there’s a definite sense that tone and melody is key to these songs, rather than worrying about keeping the attention of the audience for three minutes.
It’s great to see an established band using the EP format in this way: releasing songs that they clearly enjoy writing as a band, but may not appeal to the core fan base. Doing it this way allows the band to express themselves without alienating fans through their regular album cycle.
Appendage is a great example of a piece of music that I have a lot of appreciation for, that just isn’t for me. I prefer my Circa Survive when it has a clear direction – delivering the hooks that only Anthony Green is capable of, over intricate and ambient tones. This EP was an interesting listen and I enjoyed the idea of it, but if I’m in the mood for Circa Survive, I wouldn’t turn to these songs to get my fix.