Wednesday, January 8, 2014

When Machines Attack (2013)

When Machines Attack
(2013, Happy Jack Rock Records)

After a near two year holdover, Circus Devils are BACK with declarative bang. Par for the prolific course, Pollard and Todd Tobias went ahead and released TWO new LPs on the SAME DAY. Released alongside My Mind Has Seen the White Trick, this LP is the more sonicly ugly of the bunch. It's also the stronger album of the two. Tobias seems to be firing on all cylinders production wise, while Pollard offers up a steady stream of strong showings. A nice return to form. Limited to 700 copies worldwide. 

Beyond the Sky- 2 One minute plus opener. Repetitive, unsettling, yet somewhat orchestral guitar strums as Pollard reads some shit in an unsettling voice. Welcome to Circus Devils 2K13.

You're Not a Police Car- Abrasive, sluggish, dirty. Clunky, distorted. What other words can I come up with to describe this wonderufl mess? Pollard yells helplessly, and speaks dead-eyed throughout dead-skin tom-fills and guitar squeals Yes!

Bad Earthman- When Circus Devils get in a groove do they ever know how. A slow, gurgling low-end loop carries this murky, slow-thrash number. Complete with arbitrary beeping. Great vocal approach by Pollard. Matter of fact, and still completely nuts.

Idiot Tree- 5 WHOA!! This song manages to be completely grating, rocking with out summoning much rock at all, and one of the catchiest things in a while. Pollard sings an almost Nirvana-esque melody over thudding drums and scratch guitar repetition. Short and sweet.

Arrival At Low Volume Submarine- 3 I've luckily never been in a coma, but I'd imagine this is what it'd be like to take a slow-drip pain killer next to the world's shittiest clock. 

Craftwork Man- 4 Overtly cheesy, simplistic guitar pulls and two-chord guitar grit over tribal, wonky drum set fills. Pollard's ridiculous vocals almost kill it. Still strange, and oddly danceable enough to work. 

Blood Dummies- The audio-clip loop and trudging are both painfully jarring yet hypnotic. It sounds great. Song almost self-implodes with the "LOOK AT ALL THE BLOOD DUMMIES!" vocal line. 

When Machines Attack- 4 Downright fast compared to the majority of the record thus far. Pounding drums with the ever impending sense of doom pushing forth as Pollard sing-talks some semi-melodic lines.

Wizard Hat Lost In Stars- Every once in a while, Pollard and Todd Tobias take a divergence and forget the nightmarescapes of Circus Devils. This basically sounds like a Pollard solo outtake they didn't know what to do with. This one pretty much goes nowhere. 

Johnny Dart2 Repeat lame rock riff along with the drum pattern. Add some unnecessary vocal effects to this otherwise drab tune. Missing most ingredients to make this a complete Circus Devils cut or otherwise.

We're Going Inside the Head (of a Winner)- Ethereal, meditative. Jumpcuts into macho, headbang nonsense with a twist. A one-two left hook complete with distorted telephone ringing, and decent-into-madness piano outro. Muddle psych-trash opera, but cool.

Brain of the Iron First- 2 Slow, basic drum pounding with rather pointless guitar stabs and drawn-out string bending. 

Let Us Walk With Monsters- 4 Eastern sounding, psych march. Perfect vocal delivery from Pollard over this cult-ritual jam. Rather prolonged noise rock fadeout amps it up a point. 

The Horrified Flower- 4 Sounds like one of Sonic Youth's quieter moments. Cold, yet hopeful. Desolate and rather beautiful. 

Doberman Wasps- Mid-tempo butt-rock stomp with annoying repetitive lyrics. Stupid sound-effects placed over to distract from this lack of idea song.

The Lamb Gets Even- 1 Filler instrumental track. Hardly an instrumental, at that.

Centerverse- 5 Two chord, sea-shanty metal on planet Circus Devils. Bursts of madness ensue, song speeds up into more metal riffage from the fucked up corner of the Circus Devils' sandbox. Terrible song title! Everything else; great.

We Shall Soon Discover- 3 Ambient tones reverberate behind tom hits and subtle sound loops. Another hypnotic, tribal chant cut. Pretty alright. 

Beyond The Sky (Part 2)- Ladies and Gentlemen; your ride has come to an end. The same unnerving repetition from the intro closes out the album, but the vocals sound like a malfunctioning computer as it fades into vomit inducing pulsating. Better than the intro!

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