Since 2001 Robert Pollard, Tim and Todd Tobias have been quietly releasing unconventional and arresting records under the Circus Devils moniker. The band is if nothing else incredibly consistent, with each record bringing an element of the unexpected. Capsized! the trio's new and overall ninth offering was released last month is no exception. The album opens with To England With Tigers, the first of (count em') four instrumentals on the album which lend to the Capsized! cinematic feel and provides this varied collection with some breathing room from track to track. What follows is the the title track, complete with a twinkling piano and scuzzy guitars. If Circus Devils ever had a radio ready single, that is if commercial radio didn't completely suck, that song would undoubtedly be Cycopean Runways. That track is far an away the surprise of the set and easily the poppiest track to ever grace a Circus Devils album.
Circus Devils have always seemed to be Pollard's most polarizing outfit even for Pollard completists , but for the better part of the last 11 years it's featured some his most inventive and spirited output. Pollard makes a case for this throughout Capsized! , notably on the blissed out soft rock of Legendary Breakfast Code and it's nostalgic chorus "It's such a coffin sailboat everyday, I miss your legendary breakfast code" and again on the mid set stomper Leave The Knife Curtis with Pollard delivering spoken word verses a midst sinister and fuzzed out rhythms.
Capsized! deftly marries contrasting genres such as prog, soft rock, radio ready pop, and terrifying soundscapes, while retaining the trio's odd ball charm. Circus Devils have issued their most cohesive and mesmerizing LP to date. At times unconventional and even challenging, but ultimately it's completely spellbinding.
Circus Devils - Cyclopean Runways by ashgrayproclamation