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Russian Circles - Station (Cover Artwork)

Russian Circles

Russian Circles: StationStation (2008)
Suicide Squeeze Records

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: InaGreendaseBrian
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Despite mildly progressive tendencies and the fingerwork of studio bassist Brian Cook (These Arms Are Snakes, ex-Botch), Station is a release that, like their 2006 debut, Enter did, largely manages to stake ground in the same territory that other metallic, instrumental-focused bands like Pelican and.
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Despite mildly progressive tendencies and the fingerwork of studio bassist Brian Cook (These Arms Are Snakes, ex-Botch), Station is a release that, like their 2006 debut, Enter did, largely manages to stake ground in the same territory that other metallic, instrumental-focused bands like Pelican and Isis reside. However, it's hard to fully undercut the band's sophomore full-length, another sprawling six-song effort by a trio whose tactics are smart enough to let a listener become entranced only to be asphyxiated.

Station sometimes favors more of a shimmer than Enter's pounding jam-out, as evidenced by opener "Campaign." The song doesn't carry much tension or climactic payoff, instead relying upon a steady, dizzying riff that merely stabilizes the song as an introduction of sorts. With the pulsating basslines from Cook and the yawning, gaping atmospheres of guitarist Mike Sullivan, the spelunking really seems to begin with the next track, "Harper Lewis," whose multiple twists and turns and headphone-traveling picking makes it an adventure; the mid-song chugga-chugga is a tense, pre-buildup ball of rage -- I'd like to think Cook cooked up this part himself, reminiscing of his more ferocious days in Botch. After the three-piece slam together for a moment's notice, there's a lengthy deconstruction to the end.

The title track's misleading beginnings leads us to a Headbanger's Ball-worthy song. When the band rocks this live, they're likely to make the venue look like the bobblehead section at the Marriott's weekend memorabilia show. Those heavier riff parties trade off with quieter sections before the song's picked-out, prolonged finish, polishing off nearly nine minutes in all. It's followed by "Verses, " a sort of 'daylight breaking' track that finds the band opening up more space than anywhere else on the record and managing to maintain a warmth and optimism unlike themselves; think Mono stripped of the orchestration.

Don't sleep on the last third, though. "Youngblood" is an energized, uptempo (for them) affair that throbs and moves, painting with the gray brush they're known for, and it's got the best and heaviest apex the record's got to show. Just like "Campaign" quietly ushered us in, closer "Xavii" stably practices restraint to the record's exit, even featuring a subtle layer of organ work by producer Matt Bayles; bringing to mind This Will Destroy You with wistful octaves and stretched spheres, Sullivan provides perfect closing credits.

Though their plays haven't outmaneuvered every team in the league, Russian Circles have stayed steady in their game. Station won't get them to the conference finals, but it'll certainly clinch them another berth.

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Harper Lewis

 

 
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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.
cheddar (July 23, 2009)

When I thought nothing could be better then enter... THIS BAD BOY CAME OUT! the reason i give this album a 9 instead of a perfect 10 is cuz of the opening track... but after that opening track this record refuses to disappoint. FUCKIN' AMAZING!!! I would recommend this record to anyone who is down with the jam.

SilentStorms (May 11, 2008)

Also:

"also, wtf spelunking"

Hilarious!

Score's for that comment.

SilentStorms (May 7, 2008)

I have all their stuff, but when I was half done the stream I thought I was half done the first song. I'm a little wary, but I'm still gonna buy it. Score is for overall the first half of the albuml.

baseball (May 7, 2008)

This is okay, it's really good at times but not overall. I think I'd prefer a little more complexity in my instrumental music. This is kind of straightforward.

colin (May 6, 2008)

this is pretty amazing. i'd say better than enter. easily an 8, if not 8.5.

danperrone (May 6, 2008)

this cd is pretty awesome

wallofyouth (May 6, 2008)

maybe if they performed a suicide squeeze they could pull ahead in the bottom of the ninth

also, wtf spelunking

OverDefined (May 6, 2008)

"Though their plays haven't outmaneuvered every team in the league, Russian Circles have stayed steady in their game. Station won't get them to the conference finals, but it'll certainly clinch them another berth."

Way to stick with the metaphor. Wish I had come up with that.

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