Circa Survive

Appendage EP

Written by: TL on 10/12/2010 22:35:36

In some of my recent reviews, I've spent some time off-topic, discussing the use of EP's and the ideal length of releases in general. EP's generally are good for young bands, because they are cheaper to produce, and they don't really demand much in terms of consistency, due to their short length. When compared with LP's however, it's no wonder that the format is taken less seriously, and while this again may be a benefit to young band's just figuring out who they are and how to record, it is no doubt a handicap to those who feel ready to take their band out of the sandbox and up to play with the grownups. Why then, when that step has been taken, would any band then suddenly take a break between LP's to go back to the EP format? I mean - Doesn't it sort of correspond to them waving a white flag over their career?

Don't worry, the question is rhetorical, and the answer is no; not necessarily. Good, established bands can use the EP as a medium to put out material that for one reason or another didn't fit on an LP - possibly it would have weakened it in the eyes of the band's fanbase - but it still has some merit, and could be appreciated by diehards and collectors. Jimmy Eat World's "Disintegration" is the prime example here, and also possibly the best EP I have ever heard. This review is not about that though, rather it is about the "Appendage EP", which Circa Survive have created for a similar purpose, serving some b-sides from the recent "Blue Sky Noise", for fans to hear if they weren't satiated with the actual material on the LP.

There is a reason of course, for me blabbering on like that, before even getting to talk about the music, and it has much to do with the b-side status of the five songs offered here on "Appendage". You see, for starters, they are fruits off the exact same tree as "Blue Sky Noise" soundwise, albeit the compositions are generally mellower - maybe suggesting they were left out to not offset the balance of intensity on the album? Regardless, they are more of the same, only subtler, and subtler predictably also means less memorable than the average track off the album. "Stare Like You'll Stay" has a few moments, but mostly, I understand how the band could think that it and the others weren't up to par.

That's not to say they're at all bad though. Not at all. "Blue Sky Noise" was a very good album, one of the year's best if you ask me, and it serves as merit to the band that they saved these songs for this EP. I simply think that while most of the album's tracks had memorable elements galore, the songs offered on "Appendage" are more of the kind that I tend to label as "pleasant, but ultimately background music". That is if you even think it's ever possible to restrict Circa Survive's immersive atmosphere and Anthony Greene's immaculate vocals to the background of your attention. If not, I guess this EP is exactly meant for you. As for me personally, I think I can listen to the album quite a few more times before I feel the need to really move on to this.

7

Download: Stare Like You'll Stay, Backmask
For The Fans Of: In:Aviate, The Rise Of Science, Secret And Whisper
Listen: myspace.com/circasurvive

Release Date 30.11.2010
Equal Vision / Atlantic Records

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