Russian Circles Is everyone at Fest/drunk? Can anyone see this? Hello?

Today's first new review is Matthew Bentel's take on Russian Circles' new LP, Memorial:

Russian Circles' music never runs so much as tiptoes. Like a skilled trapeze artist, they've delicately walked the line between prog-metal and post-rock since 2004's debut full-length, Enter, an album that literally invited you into the convoluted psyche of a band that went from soaring, noodly guitar one minute to crushing, deafening breakdown the next - all within the same song. Tired of the balancing act, the Chicago trio adopt a disparate, linear slant on their fifth LP, Memorial, with divisive results. As it turns out, writing one-dimensional music grounded in singular interpretations of "post-" classifications may prove more palpable, but not more compelling.

Read the review here.

Then, Renaldo Matadeen sees what State Champs are up to on their new LP, The Finer Things:

State Champs showed with the Overslept 7-inch last year that they were a step ahead of the pop-punk game. It left an impression that they were ready to kick it up a notch and transform into something bigger. The Finer Things explores this promise and while glossing over some of their strong points, the magnitude of what it could have been leaves something to be desired.

Read the review here.

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