Just crank it a little bit louder and enjoy…
Review by Ian Savage
Release date: 31 January 2015
Peterborough’s Closed Circuit have been a growing concern for a couple of years now, steadily building a fanbase with powerful live shows and a blend of modern metal riffage with Kirsty Jo-Anne King’s unique vocal, by turns soulful and gritty. The band put the finishing touches to their debut album last May, but it’s only just getting a full release – so, worth the wait?
On first impressions, totally. Highlights include the soaring ‘Bled’ (a spectacular guitar solo bookended by the catchy, emotive chorus), angular opener ‘God Help Me’ and the piledriving ‘Assassins’ (syncopated double-kick-backed riffs seguewaying perfectly into a nicely laid-back middle section). The very fact that Closed Circuit are a female-fronted modern rock band might invite lazy journalistic comparisons, but it’s a testament to the outfit’s writing that none of them really ‘stick’; they’ve created something pretty original here.
Where things could be improved is the overall production; whilst the mix is by no means bad (there are some lovely guitar sounds to be found, particularly in the solos) it’s slightly anaemic in sections, and there’s the occasional ‘not-quite-dead-on’ vocal which with a little more judicious tracking and mixing could easily have been fixed. And whilst this reviewer is vehemently opposed to the ‘loudness war’ forced upon us by big releases being brick-wall-limited to within an inch of their lives, it has to be said that stacked up next to some major-label modern rock ‘Violet Nights’ doesn’t quite pack the punch that it deserves to.
These are niggles though, really – as a debut studio release from an established live act, VN displays great promise. A professional re-master would sort out the majority of the issues; for the time being, just crank it a little bit louder and enjoy.
8 out of 10
- God Help Me
- Your Every Move
- Devil’s Seducer
- Wall of Haze
- Sunset of Red
- Fallen Tear