thu 07/07/2022

CD: Circa Waves - What It's Like Over There | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Circa Waves - What It's Like Over There

CD: Circa Waves - What It's Like Over There

Power pop with a good mix of yin and yang

Water music

Circa Waves, the guitar-band from Liverpool, go over a storm at festivals and large venues. With simplicity, tightness and concentrated energy, they know how to play with the tension that can build between soft and hard, the yin and the yang of rock forms that continue to sound fresh because they're delivered with a sense of fun and the joy of making party music with catchy lyrics.

This is their third album, and they live up to the promise they offered back in 2013, when they first burst on the scene with punchy and uncomplicated power pop, crafted to please, little jewels of songwriting, with strong hooks and dramatic shifts in mood and tempo. They are well-served by a co-producing the album with Alan Moulder, who has worked with Foals, The Killers and Smashing Pumpkins. Lead singer and guitarist Kieran Shudall has one of those tenor to falsetto voices that reflect the fragile new masculinity that has become popular – and no doubt necessary – in an age of gradual female empowerment.

The songs are mostly about relationships and their frequent pitfalls and regret-full ends: everyday dramas elevated to the glory of anthems, as in “The Way We Say Goodbye”, where hurt is transmuted by the clatter and drive of guitars. Or “Sorry I’m Yours” where an all-too vulnerable Shudall sings “I’m not your hero…are you going to save me?” and later “goodbye, my pride has left me”, his wounds shored up by the crash of the music in a chorus that follows the song’s tentative first half.

“Saviour” which closes the album displays echoes of Zeppelin, churning rhythm guitar and high drama, but never grandiose or pompous as those bands of the 70s quickly became. The appeal of Circa Waves lies perhaps most in the enjoyably paradoxical combination of heavy rock - almost macho but not quite – combined with the bruised charm of Kieran Shudall’s voice. And the sheer fizz and fun of it all, with not a shadow of gloom anywhere at all.

They know how to play with the tension that can build between soft and hard


Editor Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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