Circles [Philadelphia] - Weighs A Ton (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Circles [Philadelphia]

Weighs A Ton (2008)

Wooden Man

Not too many albums can sneak by on a mix of early 60s guitar riffage, Ennio Morricone Westerns, and free jazz. That being said, Circles adds in a trombone to their heady line up of two drums, guitar, goldenthroated voice, and sometimes bass, and takes your mother out for a night on the town.

Pushing genre barriers lends itself to individual tracks, with "Get Down!" charging in with a mild western gallop after some expressive guitar intro leading into "Deacon," which could have been pulled off of any Yardbirds release prior to 1967. "Creep Creep" starts out with a generous amount of western swagger to the guitars, directly preceding the free jazz freakout improvs of "Dusty Rhodes."

Weighs A Ton isn't necessarily the tidiest package of music released in the past few years, but the scope their cover is ambitious. Production dodges between clean and solid and distorted area mics, but over it all (or at least the non instrumental tracks) is the clear tone of bandleader Nick Millevoi's voice, a tender deep tenor that serves as narrator to this neo-noir Western soundtrack.

Closing the album is the smooth, majestic "All My Ghosts," taking cues from spirituals and hyms and the transition into the spastic, noise laden waltz "Let The Record Show," which lets Nick M. become a crazed circus barker before the song deconstructs entirely into silence.

The album as a whole is a concentrated effort, and worthy of much praise. Any fan of experimental music will find a friend in Circles.