/ VIRGIN EMI RECORDS / SOUNDS GOOD /
Within the last couple of years the UK has seen a tiny resurgence of indie bands dipping their toes into the mainstream. Driven into the ground by the likes of The Vaccines, The Cribs, The Maccabees and started originally by Arctic Monkeys, The Libertines and The Fratellis it seems the next generation of sprightly indie rock bands are coming to join the ranks. Circa Waves made a splash with their confident debut Young Chasers in 2015, and much like other acts such as Catfish & The Bottlemen, Sundara Karma, Blossoms and Palma Violets they look set to cement their status as an established act with the release of new album Different Creatures.
Young Chasers is a record that encapsulates the youthful enthusiasm that comes with being a teenager. Thunderous guitar riffs combined with simple pop hooks to produce a sound that gathered a lot of sunshine and made the world a better place, while also referencing the struggle of knowing what to do next in terms of progression. Different Creatures seems to head into a slightly different direction however, with a deep red background and bulging eyes signalling a darker mood for Circa Waves.
‘Wake Up’ kicks things off with screeching guitars and a riff that hits harder than anything on the debut, and while the hook is present it’s clear that it’s stuck in a spot that hurts a little more than the band’s other hits. Ominous melodies hark in the shadows against the harsh wall of scuzzy guitars, bringing forth a Circa Waves that’s hard-edged, possibly weathered by the sudden rush of fame that came with being the band that made ‘T-Shirt Weather’.
This intensified sound is referenced throughout, with ‘Fire That Burns’ openly allowing the eardrums to burn, while other tracks seem to add a touch of heartbreak to the record. ‘Goodbye’ features an instrumental that would fit in with the nu-metal scene, steeped purposely in darkness while ‘Different Creatures’ scatters and dances it’s way out of the gloom.
Different Creatures is a record that stands further from the Pop Music for Dummies that allowed Young Chasers to be so accessible and instead opts to speak of sadness and heartbreak with instrumentals determined to shut the window from the sunshine of ‘T-Shirt Weather’. Circa Waves show off some vulnerability which may detract some buzz from the debut but opens up their sound into exploring extra possibilities, and brings forth a much more assured, varied record from them.