Circle - Hollywood [Ektro Records - 2008]Hollywood finds Circle once more shifting their sound into new genres & stringing into their instantly recognisable hypnotic riff presence a very 1980’s USA bound feel with: harmony led pop rock, geeky new wave airs, 80’s heavy metal- long with the traces of the blues & country too.
This is certainly is the most approachable and less odd sounding album of Circle’s prolific career thus far- with normal song length and traditional verse/ chorus base to many of the songs here. There’s also a lot more vocals through-out the album with new lead singer Bruce Duff vocals going from 80’s fist punching metal, to harmonic and raising pop-rock, to taut and country rock. With often a fair glossing of harmonies too in the tracks edger’s too. But that’s not to say the band have total moved away from their often hypotonic and circling kraut rock sound- it’s still there with-in the songs it’s just placed in a more richer, smoother, often sleek ‘normal’ song backing. The two last tracks move more towards the Circle of old lasting just over 10 minutes mark each and are built around more repetitive guitar riffs and keyboard/ organ riffs; but even so the tracks are mostly kept fairly shifting with the band building an Progressive and rich flow to the tracks.
Another rewarding album and phase in the bands always shifting sound. With Hollywood certainly making a superb and easy first step into Circle’s world for newbie’s. My only criticism of the whole thing is at times,because of its more approachable and traditional song structure, it lacks the danger, un-predictability and odd edger’s of their best work.