After a few years, and a couple side projects, Circa Survive are back with their highly anticipated third album Blue Sky Noise. Following their previous record On Letting Go, it seemed like the only place to go was up for the band, but does the new album live up to the expectations that the band set themselves up too?
One of the complaints that could have been made about Circa Survive’s previous records was that they didn’t stray far from the alternative rock sound, playing with the same old ideas of needling guitars and drawn out melodies. It was something they were (and are) great at, but it could only be done so many times. Blue Sky Noise takes a different turn with the bands sound, with a much more decidedly rock vibe to it. Whether it be the intense (and I do mean intense) screams on “Get Out” or the rocking guitars of “Fever Dreams,” the expansion of their sound is a welcome edition to their catalogue.
That’s not to say though that the entire album is all new, there is still plenty of the old Circa Survive that people have loved since day one. A song like “The Longest Mile” really calls to the bands earlier material, or the haunting echoing sounds of “Glass Arrows.” Blue Sky Noise is as different as it is the same, and many diehard listeners will most likely respect this from the band.
The last thing about this album, and the most controversial, would Anthony Green’s voice. It’s really a love/hate affair with all listeners, and this album will only spark more debates over whether he has a place in music. His voice has easily gotten more gruff and it’s harder to hit those really high notes heard on previous affairs, but it does add to the intensity of their sound. While at other times, when Green is singing in his lower register, it amounts to some of the best songs on the album (most notably “Frozen Creek” and “Spirit Of The Stairwell” which are both beautiful). His voice is most definitely an acquire taste, but those who like it will love it this time around.
All in all, Blue Sky Noise is a welcome addition to the Circa Survive’s discography. This album won’t grab you right out of the blue the moment you hear it if you are a casual listener, but you’ll find it growing on you listen after listen. The band has acquired a certain explosive, yet subdued sound, that most other bands don’t have (or can’t control) which makes them very special in their own right.