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Circle Takes The Square - Circle Takes The Square (Cover Artwork)

Circle Takes The Square

Circle Takes The Square: Circle Takes The SquareCircle Takes The Square (2003)
Hyperrealist

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
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Contributed by: AnchorsAnchors
(others by this writer | submit your own)

As far as I'm concerned, there's nothing more important for a band than having an impressive debut album. It can either launch your career into something more, or if done poorly, make very sure that your career never even leaves the ground. In the case of Savannah, Georgia's Circle Takes The Square,.
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As far as I'm concerned, there's nothing more important for a band than having an impressive debut album. It can either launch your career into something more, or if done poorly, make very sure that your career never even leaves the ground. In the case of Savannah, Georgia's Circle Takes The Square, the former occured, as this first EP set the stage wonderfully for their masterpiece breakthrough in 2004, As The Roots Undo. There's so many pitfalls that can be made on a debut: poor production, being too ambitious, not being ambitious enough, and subsquently becoming another bands carbon copy. Luckily for everyone involved, Circle Takes The Square manages to avoid everything that can go wrong and create a truly impressive piece of music.

Describing the sound of this band is a tricky thing to do, as there's so much put in this album. It's not meshed with anything genre-wise, but so many elements are incorporated here, and it creates a real mystique and epic sense about the band. This absolutely cannot be pigeonholed as hardcore or screamo, as this band truly creates something all their own. The musicianship of this three piece is incredible. One of the most impressive elements with this album is the incredible male/female screaming dynamic between the two vocalists, many times intertwining and seemingly screaming back and forth at each other. The guitars are on point throughout, transitioning between heavy distortion, amazingly quick clean parts, and almost a sing-song back and forth feel (think Saetia's "The Sweetness And The Light"). The bass is powerful without ever being overbearing, and the drums are superb. The music is so fluid thoughout the many different tempo changes, and it feels so well constructed, with each piece accenting the other to create something truly impressive. The vocals are spoken at many points, sometimes chanted, but always having absolutely stellar lyrics to back them up. Lyrically, this is probably, bar none, the best band that hardcore has seen in a long while. While the lyrics could stand well on their own, it needs the music to really bring them out.

The first song doesn't come out both guns blazing as many bands have their openers do, but rather has a spoken sample of a woman on the brink of a complete wreck. Then, the music kicks. And does it ever kick. "Our Need To Bleed" is the song, and it's actually pretty short by the band's standards, not even breaking four minutes. The next song however is much more akin to what the next album centered on, with one of the album's longest tracks, "Eleven Owls Have Eyes." The song has a driving riff behind it, and breaks every so often for the chant of "Father, Son, And Holy Ghost!" No, they're not a Christian band, as the lyrics make no other similar mentions. About halfway through, the song breaks for some spoken word parts, and then some light plucking on clean guitar and harmonic elements before the vocals come back. The spoken/screamed parts come back in and out on a whim, while the music and harmonic elements swirl around it, building for a climax in the end that never comes to pass. The song "Comes With The Fall" is musically probably the album's shining moment. The first two minutes are just a relentless burst of assualt from the guitar/drums combination, with some faint screaming in the background. After about three minutes, the vocals do kick in, and just expand upon what the guitar and drums layed down: all out fury and intensity. The melodic guitar part comes back in about a minute later, and leads up to a hell of an ending.

"In The Nervous Light Of Sunday" again showcases the vocal battle between the two singers, and the dynamic works very very well. This song is a little bit more rough than it appears on As The Roots Undo, but it's a very solid song nonetheless.

Musically, this band has very much impressed me, but lyrically they shine just as brightly. There's no clear overview to the album's lyrics as a whole, as were given with the next album, but they're hard hitting, and nonetheless really make you think. They're very intelligently written, and thankfully stay away from any sort of clich├ęs or redundancies, adding onto the epic scope of the album that the music began. "In The Nervous Light Of Sunday" best displays the talent these guys have as lyricists. It may take a few listens to actually wrap your head around what the subject matter is, but it's well worth it;

Whispers invoke the artists of this tragically seemless, ill fated tapestry, blistered fingers are tending their loom. / She collects the strands to braid into life. / Logging the weft of an ageless, woven infinity, countless raw fibers are clawing the frame. / A woman's work is never done, but the final stitch has got to come, and so three witches contend to slice the very last thread (that you curse, curse constantly) / But nothing's immortal, and comfort is not guaranteed / A yearling who bears our sincere passions is chosen, frozen and quivering, like a thread in the wake of a blade. / So we compromise, so we sacrifice, compromise nothing, but that which secures a comfortable life, risk as the indication of a healing sacrifice. / Destroy the altar whose boundaries tides will never exceed, ignite the pyres underneath a sedated mythology. / Five decades his lifetime, and his life's work is just fading scratches in stone. / She tends the numerals, counting fingers, counting her toes. / Keeping track of the time racing, years wasting (dance to the sound of his weight bearing back breaking) infinite ages the length of this quilt's making. / And we dance, we dance in the stronghold.../ That you curse, curse constantly, of the needle's sheen. / Do you feel this thin strand resting in a pinch? / That's the thread that you curse, that you curse constantly.
This album was really a breath of fresh air from me when I first heard it. Since the comparison is inevitible, I'm going to say As The Roots Undo is the better album. It's produced better, and CTTS expands upon a lot of the harmonics that layed a base for in this album, and had more of the grand, epic feel that this album also showed potential for. That album is a 10, but this really isn't far off. This showed a lot of promise for a debut, and it was just expanded upon in As The Roots Undo. In any right, however, this is an absolutely stellar release, and I encourage all of you to purchase this.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (February 1, 2006)

pretty good band, the 'hidden' rap track is a nice touch.

Anonymous (March 30, 2005)

This band is ok, the duel vocals are nice change but they sing at the same time to much, it sounds like a fucking mess and gives me a headache.

Anonymous (January 27, 2005)

you are the one who's fuking crying brizzlebrizzle.

BTW Nice name. Go back to the toolbox.

Anonymous (January 25, 2005)

god forbid spelling errors in a sentence typed in 3 seconds. thats a fucking sin.

-!Greenvandal!

kenjamin (January 24, 2005)

yea and you can't read well. Deal with it.

Anonymous (January 24, 2005)

I remember when BSD was the msot hated, and insincere dave made everyhting funny. Where doesa the time go?

-!Greenvandal!

bizzlebrizzle (January 24, 2005)

no he hates him for believing that his opinion is the only correct opinion .

You're all a bunch of cry babies.

kenjamin (January 24, 2005)

no he hates him for believing that his opinion is the only correct opinion .

bizzlebrizzle (January 24, 2005)


I couldn't agree more. Chinatown you suck. Ever since you posted some shit about how Jets to Brazil are so much better than the Weakerthans I knew you were a complete idiot. You are entitled to your opinion but defending it like it's the only opinion makes you pathetic.

I hate Circle Takes the Square but if the reviewer likes them so be it. It is a well written review... even if I disagree.

You hate him for liking JTB over Weakerthans? What a fucking moron.

MarkieStabone (January 24, 2005)

"By the way, some people have a personal vendetta against me"

score's for against me!

Anonymous (January 24, 2005)

"just accept the fact that the things you comment with make people hate you"

I couldn't agree more. Chinatown you suck. Ever since you posted some shit about how Jets to Brazil are so much better than the Weakerthans I knew you were a complete idiot. You are entitled to your opinion but defending it like it's the only opinion makes you pathetic.

I hate Circle Takes the Square but if the reviewer likes them so be it. It is a well written review... even if I disagree.

Anonymous (January 23, 2005)

And yet I'm worth a nine.

-Chinatown

Anonymous (January 23, 2005)

Chinatown suuuuuuuuuucks. Suck suck sucks.

Anonymous (January 23, 2005)

Thanks a lot for not even remotely addressing the points I made in my post!

You sounded more like Dubya in that one, Tate Jr.

-Chinatown

bizzlebrizzle (January 23, 2005)

I find his input to be hilarious usually.

Anchors (January 23, 2005)

"You, on the other hand, seem to be an insecure people-pleaser, always trying to be positive, and even devoting most of your free time writing loads and loads of reviews in hopes of landing a job as staff reviewer to get some free albums. Congrats on that, hypocrite. You're the Jason Tate of this site."

You've said some dumb things, but you've outdone yourself this time. I write because I enjoy music, and I enjoy writing, I didn't start in hopes of being on the staff. In fact, at first, I didn't even want to be on staff, because I wouldn't get as much chance to write on what I wanted to, but decided I'd enjoy the challenge of writing about stuff I normally wouldn't, or wouldn't have the opportunity to. Yes, free cd's are a nice perk of the job, but that was never my intention in writing. So how that makes me a hypocrite is beyond me. Jason Tate is a douchebag because he bands everybody from his site that disagrees with him, or speaks out against his nut riding of shitty bands, neither of which I do.

Nobody has a vendetta against you, just accept the fact that the things you comment with make people hate you. People don't hate you because you dislike the Clash, they hate you because you've yet to have a moment in your life where you contribute anything worthwhile to a conversation.

You really are a pathetic kid. Any comment you make after this isn't getting a response from me, don't bother.

Anonymous (January 23, 2005)

Horrible vocals. Not good screamo at all. Interesting enough musically but the vocals just kil it.

Anonymous (January 23, 2005)

Oh yeah, a one.

-Chinatown

Anonymous (January 23, 2005)

"I'd also hire Chinatown to spew racial epithets. :)"

I think you'd be much more apt at that, seeing as you like to post them all over the site (under my name, of course).

-Chinatown

Anonymous (January 23, 2005)

"That album is a 10, but this really isn't far off. This showed a lot of promise for a debut, and it was just expanded upon in As The Roots Undo. In any right, however, this is an absolutely stellar release, and I encourage all of you to purchase this."
--------------------------------------------------------- -------------
Yeah, using this four times in three sentences is the example of "epic" writing. As I said, very boring reviews.

By the way, some people have a personal vendetta against me, so, even if I wrote the greatest review in the world, they'd still say it sucks. You really have no grounds on which to base the opinions of others on me. I came to this site willing to speak out against bands like The Clash, so I'm expecting to be hated. You, on the other hand, seem to be an insecure people-pleaser, always trying to be positive, and even devoting most of your free time writing loads and loads of reviews in hopes of landing a job as staff reviewer to get some free albums. Congrats on that, hypocrite. You're the Jason Tate of this site.

By the way, BSD is right; all of your reviews are essentially the same.

-Chinatown

IheartAdam (January 23, 2005)

I think this band is really awful, but if I ever had a need for a publicist, I'd probably hire Anchors for his ability to turn a pile of shit into a nicely written epic.

I'd also hire Chinatown to spew racial epithets. :)

Anchors (January 23, 2005)

I normally don't, but Chinatown annoys me to no end. And while I do know I should let it go by the wayside, I can't always bite my tongue.

kenjamin (January 23, 2005)

dude, you're a staff member now. stop giving a fuck about what people think about your reviews.

Anchors (January 23, 2005)

"When it comes to curing insomnia, I think Anchors's reviews are more effective than a dose of Sonata."

Chinatown, do me a favor if you could, and tell me how many times people have complimented you on your reviews?
Maybe it's just me, but I don't think I've ever seen anybody do so.

And As I've said before, every time you comment, people tell you to shut up, this thread proves it. You're not clever, and as hard as you try, you'll never convince anyone that you are. Give up, dude.

Anonymous (January 23, 2005)

Ha ha, exactly.

ThriveToFailure (January 23, 2005)

Anyone remember that Far Side cartoon "What we say to dogs/What dogs hear"? The previous post so reminded me of that...

Anonymous (January 23, 2005)

blah blah blah blah blah blah.

-Chinatown

(Come on, isn't that all we see, really?)

Anonymous (January 23, 2005)

Oh yeah, and Anchors, do supply me with a list of "witty" things you've said since you began posting at this site. You seem to think you're so qualified at judging the quality of other users' posts. I'm sure your own ones hold up to your lofty standards...

-Chinatown

Anonymous (January 23, 2005)

When it comes to curing insomnia, I think Anchors's reviews are more effective than a dose of Sonata.

Zzzzzzz.....

-Chinatown

Anonymous (January 22, 2005)

I really like this band. The instrumentals are really good, from just hearing their music, i wouldn't think that they are just a three piece.

I really like the vocals too. Especially the dude's. He's one of the only screamo vocalists that actually sounds TORTURED. He actually sounds like he's suffering, which gives it more emotion and shit. Good stuff.

ThriveToFailure (January 22, 2005)

"Circle Take The Square is to Punknews.org what Radiohead is to pitchformedia.com both bands very pretencious, however Radiohead makes good music"

First, learn to spell "pretentious". Then, never use the word again.

Meanwhile...

A friend leant me 'As the Roots Undo' and I concur with his opinion that it's fantastic record. So I shall have to check this one out too...

Anonymous (January 22, 2005)

yeah.. just not feeling this band at all. The vocals are really bad. Like "I'm a warlock who should be in some nordic metal band but instead I'm stuck playin with these guys" bad.

TahoeJeff (January 22, 2005)

Score is for Icapped2pac remembering WussEmoRock. I miss that guy, and I miss everyone ripping on him. I wonder where he is right now? Maybe he just changed his user name and is acting out a different personality.

He's probably somewhere being a cockass as usual...although sometimes I get my suspisions that he's masquerading as someone else on these boards...maybe BSD or Jones the Bones...but yeah...I miss that dude

hobbitcore (January 22, 2005)

first of all, 8 of my last 10 comments are on your reviews because we get into arguments. and i don't comment on EVERY REVIEW...like i said the last time you said that, this is like the third review of yours i've commented in, big guy. i know you want to come up with some half-assed defense against my criticism but you're gonna have to do better than that. and don't tell me i've only written one review because i've worked for two websites writing reviews for them.

Anchors (January 22, 2005)

"Is it just me or does this guy write the same goddamn review every week?"

All you write are short reviews on old school punk records and give them all perfect scores, you're in no place whatsoever to be critiquing. I'm fine with constructive criticism, but you've got no basis whatsoever to judge on, and neither does Hobbitcore, who's obsessed, and feels the need to comment on every review I write. 8 of your last 10 comments are on my reviews. Christ, find something to do.

Go ahead and keep commenting on every review I write, nobody's impressed.

hobbitcore (January 22, 2005)

Is it just me or does this guy write the same goddamn review every week?

-BSD

it's not just you

colin (January 22, 2005)

amazing fucking band

Anonymous (January 21, 2005)

Is it just me or does this guy write the same goddamn review every week?

-BSD

Anonymous (January 21, 2005)

Circle Take The Square is to Punknews.org

what

Radiohead is to pitchformedia.com

both bands very pretencious, however Radiohead makes good music.

greg0rb (January 21, 2005)

Score is for Icapped2pac remembering WussEmoRock. I miss that guy, and I miss everyonr ripping on him. I wonder where he is right now? Maybe he just changed his user name and is acting out a different personality.

Good review, too Anchors. I seriously gotta check these guys out. And ahhh to be in school again... that was nice.
-Greg

Anonymous (January 21, 2005)

Good review. I haven't listened to CTTS, but how do they compare to I Would Set Myself On Fire For You? (I only ask for the comparison because they both seem like interesting bands from Georgia with male/female screaming.)

Anchors (January 21, 2005)

I'm a full time student, but don't have a job. And actually, most of the reviews in the past month were written over Christmas break. So I was home for a month with nothing to do, because most of my friends did have jobs.

So weekday afternoons consisted of MacGyver and writing reviews. Also, all of the reviews are of bands I know pretty well, so it's not hard to write a lot. This took me about half an hour. But once I start reviewing the cd's sent to me, they probably won't be as in depth. The last review I did over break on my own accord was the Iron & Wine EP which will be up in the next few updates, most likely. And now that I'm back to school, I won't be having as much free time as on vacation.

Icapped2pac (January 21, 2005)

Hey Anchors, I mean this in the least condescending way possible (because I like your reviews most of the time), but do you have a job or go to school, dude? Because every time I read your reviews, I wonder how you could possibly have the time to write such thorough reviews in such quantity.

As for this band, I guess I gotta listen to them more than the 1/2 of one song I tried out like a year ago. Probably not my style though, I'm too WussEmoRock.

punkcorekid (January 21, 2005)

Georgia representin'

Anonymous (January 21, 2005)

Hey, don't forget the rap track, that's boss.

TahoeJeff (January 21, 2005)

Man, I wish I could go on Hollywood Squares. I would fucking rule that game.

Benjasaurus (January 21, 2005)

Amazing fucking band.

bizzlebrizzle (January 21, 2005)

One of the few good newer screamo bands.

Anonymous (January 21, 2005)

I don't know, as crafty & unique as this band is, I can easily call them a screamo band. They did a split with Pg.99, they're on Robotic Empire, & they play screamo.

Anonymous (January 21, 2005)

i hear good things about this band.

Josiah (January 21, 2005)

this band has easily become one of my favourites...

swingline (January 21, 2005)

shitty stuff. word the fuck up son

Anonymous (January 21, 2005)

First, chickenheads

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