Boxes – Circus of the West (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Circus_of_the_West_coverAs well as being a candidate for the coolest name in music at the moment, Circus of the West delivers a song which strides confidently and compellingly towards the listener. This wonderful narrative about the absurdity of this demarcated and separated modern life plays out like a joke or anecdote moving the story on by circling the same subject before ending with the punchline that you always knew was coming. But the best jokes are often not about the pay off but the journey to it.

Musically they blend the college rock quirk of R.E.M with the strange, tongue in cheek poignancy of They Might Be Giants less wacky moments, the bravado of rock with the subtlety of indie. And out of this swirling crucible of musical thought emerges a sound that you can’t quite tie down, it is certainly familiar but it also sounds new! How does a band do that? But I guess that is the art of it. There is little happening in a medium so old and ubiquitous as making music that you can really call new but you can take those tried and tested musical building blocks and put them together in new and interesting ways. Circus of the West do it so brilliantly that you just can’t see the joins.

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