Empire Circus return with the September release of their self-titled debut album. The four piece alternative pop outfit (formerly Stand) previously enjoyed a seven-year stretch in the USA, touring and recording with Bryce Goggin, of Ramones fame, before Ireland’s call prevailed in 2008.
Lights Out begins with a sharp yet catchy guitar riff. The vocals lack a little on the execution but it’s a decent pop tune and it leads the album out well. True Believer shows the more alternative, and perhaps natural side to the band. It’s a delicate pop track that fails to grasp the listener entirely, for it over runs its itself towards the end.
I Know Better drifts along, somewhat boring and unconvincing. Currents however introduces some electronic attributes to the overall theme and a wise choice by Empire Circus it is. The song draws influence from the electronic genre (like so many artists in the current series of music); adding an atmosphere to the music wonderfully. Again however, there is nothing by means of a fine hook to snag the listener upon. A bigger chorus would possibly have most coming back again; if only.
A Day In The Life Of A Superhero comes as if forged from a forgotten session with Bono and co. The chorus is far superior here and the song really binds itself together impressively.
Midway, and this reviewer can’t help but concede Empire Circus make a good band, not a great band. Cherub’s Call begins the second half in more positive light. There are elements of Green Days’ double singing verse melodies and they work well. It’s certainly a radio friendly feel, with a full-blown chorus.
As if predicting a listeners’ lull, the band lay quality tracks concealed for the lucky to find. There Is A Light and All I Need unmistakably have the potential to be singles, or at least great live show moments. The latter builds nicely into a chorus doused in great melody. The ‘feeling’ that seemed lacking has fully restored.
We see a softer side to the group with Set Sails For The Sky, a full-bottled acoustic lament with genuine tone and rhythm. With the release of their first full-length album, Empire Circus look keen to emulate their time in the States. Work ethic is one thing, but when it transcends into good music and even better success, the rewards must be immeasurable. Empire Circus have brewed an unstirred blend of conventional pop and musing rock, with potential for hits. It’s a matter of letting it brew.