steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Circus Circus

"Brooklyn Nightlife" CD

CI Records

Genre: post-hardcore, screamo, metal

Lancaster, PA

October 2009

I'm impressed by this Blood Brothers-esque post-hardcore experience in terms of its sheer extremeness - the five guys behind Circus Circus populate this disc with ample yelling, guitar stop-starting, and percussive insanity. But it will take a genre devotee to contently endure the whole record. My problem with this exuberantly dynamic form of music is that it's just too overwhelming. This, I suppose, might not necessarily sound like a bad thing, but after ten minutes this just starts to sound like a whole lot of noise. It's a shame, because in terms of technical skill and energy, there's much to fawn over on Brooklyn Nightlife. Dig the metal overdrive of "First We Feast, Then We Felony," the machine-gun drums on "Telepathic Chant," or the hellish fury of "Eden in Sweden". It's hard not to feel the impulse to jump around and body check things while listening to these songs. But implied in that realization is the notion that this perhaps isn't the best music for home listening; instead, Circus Circus seems to be the type of band you see live, or at least reserve for moments of unbridled frustration. With that said, judging by other reviews, this stuff is licked right up by screamo/post-hardcore enthusiasts, so perhaps it's just a case of me not really getting it. As such, Brooklyn Nightlife won't make converts out of non-believers, but it's likely to rally the fans into a feverish rustle-bustle. Feel the angst.

Fun fact: Possibly named after an obscure early band by W.A.S.P. singer Blackie Lawless.

circus circus' myspace

Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 10 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2009]