Circle - Panic [Ektro Records - 2007]As the black & white grainy cut-up artwork of panic suggest this is circle take on anarchic punk, but as with everything within circles world it’s not as clear cut as that, there’s also epic soundtrack elements, bobbing and looping 80’s synth scapes, building drone sound atmospherics and prog like touches.
It’s only the six centre tracks that hovering in circle’s take on old crusty lo-fi anarchic punk meets trash chug. It's a place where crazed synth and sound elements career about too, it sounds like the ghost of gritty early 80’s brit punk brought back to life on a acid/speed mix, with all the six tracks are wonderfully chaotic and manic edged.The vocals go from spit frothing banter to Black metal demon growls, all making an exhilarating attack for ten or so minutes.
The rest of the album is built around more atmospheric and cinematic tones, I guess it’s the closet they ever come to making something akin to a real soundtrack. And that’s really what the whole of Panic feels like a soundtrack for the end of the world or social unrest with the first three tracks build to the atmosphere for the warring, colliding elements of the middle and the last two tracks surfacing after the bombs droped.The second to last track tunnel seems to imply the planet in nuclear fall-out, they create a slow throbbing and barren sound which imply windswept dislocation and the feeling of no more life. The last track and far away, with it’s hopeful Tangerine Dream like synth bobbing and bassy prog vibe- seems to illustrated a band of survivors coming together to rebuild their world.
So another new and daring chapter in the prolific and (hopefully) never-ending Circle musically story, which finds them once more weaving together different musically genres strands to form a hypnotic and atmospheric whole. Certainly another highlight in a discography full of highlights.Roger Batty