Album Review

Brent Andermann
Blue Sky Noise displays a clarity and simple execution of the raw talent that had always existed in these five men. It's cleaner and more focused than their previous records but is devoid of all the usual pomp and flash of most major label debuts that fall victim to the dreaded "indie to major label" transition. Although, the songs are much larger in scope and vision.

Getting the usual message board fodder out of the way, yes, Anthony Green has dropped his register down an octave. Beyond that the lyrics are both more universal and personal. He, however, is not the only one who has had a sudden metamorphosis in the writing process. Circa’s drummer Steve Clifford has always been a technically proficient but it’s the two guitarists, Colin Frangicetto and Brandon Ekstrom, who flex their technical muscle and have suddenly become a two man riff machine. There’s even,*gasp*, a solo. Not to mention, finally Nick Beard, who no longer has a beard, is a visible member sonically and his bass lines and solos are memorable and for lack of better word, awesome. This doesn’t mean that the band has left their progressive/experimental/post-whatever,etc. roots. There are screeches, guitar freak outs, and odd time signatures on every nook and cranny of this record. It does mean that Circa Survive have figured out who they are and where they want to go musically and Blue Sky Noise is evidence.

With all their growth, the pressure that they felt during the writing process is visible in their work. Anthony Green’s attempt to make the lyrics more universal has made them unfortunately generic. He sings “ I'll never get to hear the truth, disguised in all your alibis, it's a tradition practiced, every time you say goodbye” in the song “Imaginary Enemy”. There are a few more examples of banal lyrics on the sheet, but it should be said that Anthony Green hasn’t lost any confidence or energy. Conviction is heard in every facet of the album and could very well be the theme (see the people’s exhibits a, b, and c your honor: the songs “Frozen Creek”, “Spirit of the Stairwell”, and the closer “Compendium”). A second theme, transformation, is not only palpable in their aforementioned technical playing but also in the passion that they have found in this experience. It can be felt in every note played and every word sung.

If these men were lost somewhere in the usual white noise of everything, they found something worth hanging on to and it brought them somewhere beautiful.