If the career of Circa Survive traces the storybook trajectory of a post-millennial rock band—make a little indie record, tour like crazy, sign to a major, rule the world—the most illuminating chapter comes with the arrival of Violent Waves. The band's fourth release was funded, produced and released entirely independently.
In part, the self-reliance of Violent Waves hints at the shifting tides of the record industry, but the collection also speaks to the group's intractable creative vision. In its bombast, bravado and raw emotional punch, Circa Survive asserts itself as a band whose artistic ambitions trump their commercial ones.
After a distant guitar riff introduces "Sharp Practice," the tune erupts with thundering drum fills and strident guitars. It's a spacey, sharp-edged piece of post-everything rock drawing on emo progenitors like At the Drive-In. Just before the song's sweeping chorus, vocalist Anthony Green promises to keep "kicking up this cloud of dust till it covers us," a line perfectly paired with the music's destructive fury. But despite the hot-headed rage, there's also a hint of optimism between the lines. After all, this is the sound of a band in charge of their own destiny. – Nate Cavalieri, Google Play
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