Artist: Circus Fires
Album: All Living Things
For people who like: Jimmy Eat World, Weakerthans, Brand New, and Weezer
It seems that people often will discuss an albums consistency and use that as a gauge if it is “good or bad.” Quite frankly, the true quality of an album comes from not only consistency as whole, but individual song quality. With Madison, Wisconsin’s Circus Fires debut, All Living Things, the display of quality attention to the entire release production wise, and the individual care to each track from a songwriting angle allows this album to show that Circus Fires may just have released one of the best albums of the year.
As far as All Living Things goes, the consistency is not compromised in any sort of way for monotony. Tracks such as “These Synapses Fire Blanks” and “Spent Bullets” provide of an outgoing pop-rock feel similar to Jimmy Eat World. However, tracks such as “A Bloody Ransom for a New Life” and “Neva” give of a more experimental and urgent vibe similar to bands such as Brand New and even later work from Thrice.
One track that should not be slept on at all is All Living Things third track, “A Gentleman’s Curse.” This song clearly shows how Circus Fires knows how not only be great musicians, but how to connect all of their skill together. “A Gentleman’s Curse” is contains aggressive elements, but is interlaced with parts that allow you to feel as if you have traveled into the inquisitive and mysterious situation discussed throughout the tracks lyrics.
The entire production of All Living Things allows the group, still slightly in their infancy, to experiment with various effects and placement of proper sound samples. With most bands on a rather early release, it seems that things like notch filter effects will just be used “because it sounds cool.” However, each alteration, be it on vocals, guitar or even drums, it is done with some sort of purpose and reasoning. Prime example of the use of these artistic adjustments can be heard in the tracks “Pull Oceans” and “Earthbound.”
What seems to be the main selling point of this debut album is that it all feels natural. I don’t mean in a weird audiophile-analog kind of way either. Everything to the strings done by guitarist Nick Jones and bassist Tylor Sherman, just seem to lock in not only with guitarist and singer Eric Doucette’s lyrics, but with the properly laid out thick drum parts fulfilled by Paul Sirianni.
So with influences and elements reminiscent of various turn of the century alternative bands, it seems that Circus Fires would come off with almost a frat-rock vibe, but at the end of they don’t. This is a band plays with nothing but honesty and sincerity and All Living Things is just about the perfect way to showcase such emotion.
Everything from the songs structure to the aforementioned production aspects were placed down, the entire album just feels natural. A quality that still is around in plenty of current music, but unfortunately, I feel is not as frequent. So if you’re searching for a naturally consistent-yet diverse album, Circus Fires’ All Living Things may just be the exact album you’re searching for.
All Living Things is set to be out this spring with a three song preview out digitally, April 30th.
Standout tracks- “Shelter”, “A Gentleman’s Curse”, “Pull Oceans”, “A Blood Ransom for a New Life”