#1

Russian Circles - Station
May 6th, 2008 - Suicide Squeeze Records


Campaign
Harper Lewis
Station
Verses
Youngblood
Xavii


I don't mean to pitch the frontpage slogan of a lifetime, but in 2006 Russian Circles put the 'rock' back into 'post-rock'. From ominous tranquillity to assault not dissimilar to getting punched in the face , 'Enter' was quite the debut. Post-rock fans digged the refreshing edge they put on age-old twinkliness and buildup dependency, yet a track such as 'Death Rides A Horse' impressed even the Kid Rock fans amongst us. Following up an album like that is an interesting subject for fans to speculate on, whether more of the same will be delivered, or if Russian Circles, now recording with These Arms Are Snakes bassist Brian Cook in place of founding member Colin DeKuiper, would throw another spanner in the works.

'Campaign', in similar fashion to its predecessor 'Carpe', fades in with a signature looping style melody that is the basis of Mike Sullivan's guitar sound. However, the overbearing darkness of old seems to have been vanquished by an innocent, optimistic texture that momentarily takes you away from the idea that you are listening to Russian Circles. The entire song is based around two guitar loops. The first hosts an incredibly well-layered and euphoric buildup, only to fall back to the solitary second loop. It serves as a wakeup call, and sets an unexpected tone for what is to come.

Based on its opening, one would be justified in assuming 'Station' would be a total departure from 'Enter', however the second track, 'Harper Lewis' absolutely destroys that idea, with some style. A relatively modest intro soon emerges as a charismatic demonstration of exactly what these three guys can do, from the explosive to the reflective passages which serve as a fuse. The genius of this album is that the band quite clearly stamp their identity on every track, be it through Dave Turncrantz's distinct, cymbal-heavy drumming style, or through the progression upon loops that provide a core for this band's songwriting approach. Each track has its own merits and its own thoroughly deserved place on this album. The functionality of these songs ensures that 'Station' is, in every way, a great album and not just a collection of six great songs. The emotive direction of 'Verses', the absolutely ferocious climax of 'Youngblood' and the ambience of 'Xavii' all share the same beauty and the same endlessly powerful sound that makes Russian Circles a great band, and 'Station' the greatest post-rock album ever made.


CAG EDIT:

List of Forthcoming Contributors

October - Frenchy
November - 11223344554433
December - break-me-in
January - rockon1824
February - goldmember1217
March - ?
April - ?
May - ?
June - stepco12345 [gets banned if he fails to contribute]
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#2
My favourite album of the year so far, 10/10 and a nice review.
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#3
Fantastic review Duncan, I'll definately check out the record!
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#5
I like it, definitely a good band to check out.
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#6
I managed to check out a couple of songs, and I really really like what I heard. I'm gonna definately get this album. Fantastic review as well.
#7
Phenomenal album, it's like a psychotic hybrid of Mastodon and Explosions In the Sky.

Also, everyone who likes this band needs to check out Dakota/Dakota, which was the band the bassist and guitarist of this band were in before RC was formed.
Last edited by goldmember1217 at Sep 3, 2008,
#13
Quote by redh0tchilip3pp
Sounds good. I don't really believe it can be the best post rock album ever, though.

Pretty damned close to it, IMO.

Maybe some 65 stuff tops it, but other than that...
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#14
Quote by FrenchyFungus
Pretty damned close to it, IMO.

Maybe some 65 stuff tops it, but other than that...

When I first listened to it, I didn't like it as much as "Enter", seeing as that album is my #1 most listened to album of all time (followed by Minus the Bear's "Menos el Oso" and Opeth's "Still Life").

I went in, foolishly, expecting "Enter II", basically, and it just wasn't that album. I loved what I heard, but I didn't take it as seriously as "Enter".

Now, after listening to it many, many times, and soaking more and more in each time, I've come to realise that it is a superior album to "Enter", and is one of the most beautifully played and structured albums I've ever heard.

I'm very, very close to calling it my #1 favorite post rock album ever, if not at least tied with my other favorites.


Fantastic, fantastic review Duncan. As always.
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#16
Good review. I'll have to have a listen.
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#18
Quote by goldmember1217
Phenomenal album, it's like a psychotic hybrid of Mastodon and Explosions In the Sky.

that's pretty much what I was thinking, it's really good, I'm pleasantly surprised.
#23
I've finally listened to the album, and despite high expectations due to near enough all the comments in this thread, I came into it pretty open-minded. With one listen of the record under my belt, I really don't see any redeemable points that would warrant subsequent listens. I really have nothing against modern instrumental music (One of my favourite band's are Yawning Man), it just takes something special to make music without vocals and make it not sound cold and... well, boring. UNKLE, who've gone down a similarly rock route would have been quite similar, had they not brought in all kinds of vocal talent on War Stories. All in all, the talent of the band is undeniable (That drummer - wow), but out of all the album's that have found their way on to my hard drive, this is one of the few that's going straight off again.
#24
Quote by red157
I've finally listened to the album, and despite high expectations due to near enough all the comments in this thread, I came into it pretty open-minded. With one listen of the record under my belt, I really don't see any redeemable points that would warrant subsequent listens. I really have nothing against modern instrumental music (One of my favourite band's are Yawning Man), it just takes something special to make music without vocals and make it not sound cold and... well, boring. UNKLE, who've gone down a similarly rock route would have been quite similar, had they not brought in all kinds of vocal talent on War Stories. All in all, the talent of the band is undeniable (That drummer - wow), but out of all the album's that have found their way on to my hard drive, this is one of the few that's going straight off again.


In that whole paragraph I was expecting at least some sort of explanation, but no
Quote by justinb904
im more of a social godzilla than chameleon

Quote by MetalMessiah665
Alright, I'll give them a try, Japanese Black Speed rarely disappoints.

Quote by azzemojo
Hmm judging from your pic you'd fit in more with a fat busted tribute.
#25
I'm definitely gonna check this out.
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#27
Quote by red157
Explanation? For why I didn't like it? As I'm pretty sure that whole paragraph is why.

I'd advise listening to Harper Lewis, Station and Xavii again, at least. The album kinda washed over me the first time I listened to it, I thought it was a bit too ambient. But I really got into it after that.

I think it's the first album I've bought new on both CD and vinyl, actually.
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If you cut down on these costs students won't learn so well, effecting the "quality"...
#29
I just checked some Youtube videos with these guys. Some of their songs are insane. Why have I never heard of these guys before?
#30
Future contributor list updated. See first post
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#32
On this computer.

I wasn't here

*posted*
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Quote by Mistress_Ibanez
It's can be a contraction and genitive case.

Quote by Mistress_Ibanez
If you cut down on these costs students won't learn so well, effecting the "quality"...