April 20, 2010 - Atlantic
Circa Survive fans were a little nervous upon hearing the news that their beloved band jumped to a major label after 2007’s On Letting Go. How well would the quintet’s psychedelic post-hardcore translate in a world where the bottom line is dollar signs? Thankfully, Blue Sky Noise puts all fears to rest. It harnesses Circa’s best qualities (Anthony Green’s ethereal voice, intertwining guitars, complex rhythms) and adds a sense of direction previous releases somewhat lacked. Basically, Circa have learned to write straightforward rock songs without sacrificing a shred of what makes the band so fascinating. The simple attack of “Get Out” will hopefully become a shining star on rock radio, and the subdued “Frozen River” demonstrates a newfound restraint. Even more exciting is the exuberance displayed in “Imaginary Enemy” and “Strange Terrain”—the guitarwork in both songs possess a strange sense of happiness rarely heard on past records. Couple all of that with pristine production courtesy of David Bottrill (and some seriously sick bass tones, particularly on “Glass Arrows”), and we have to wonder why anyone was ever worried.