Geneva review by Russian Circles

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  • Released: Oct 20, 2009
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 6 (39 votes)
Russian Circles: Geneva
4

Sound — 10
Forgive the scene's superstition, but the third album is almost an expected milestone for a post-rock band. Your skinny fists, your ( )'s and your cold dead places are all third albums and are all unanimously given masterpiece' status by your Silent Ballets and your AfterThePostRocks. What, then, of Geneva', the third album by Russian Circles? A band who if last year's Station' is anything to go by may dare to reach heights utterly dizzying for anyone else?

Looking at the past, Carpe' has excited its listeners with its bold panache and Campaign' has submerged them in a whole new ocean of bliss; Fathom' revisits the source of it all, 2006's Enter', and starts to put together an album that builds on that foundation . In place of the usual trade-off between instruments, Geneva' initially plays more like the Dave Turncrantz show. It doesn't usually take long to recognize the drummer's ability but he seems so insistent on showcasing his skills that it takes guitarist Mike Sullivan and bassist Brian Cook a great many listens to catch up. So many, in fact, that my first draft of this review was more or less a self-indulgent lament over how such disappointment can be wrought upon one such as I. But catch up they do, and as they say, a wizard arrives precisely when he means to.

So, how does Geneva' look when you've seen its true form? It looks pretty nice, actually. It sits comfortably between Enter' and Station'; bassy rhythms cascade over Sullivan's eerie loops once again but the curveball additions of violin and cello (performed by Susan Voelz and Allison Chesley respectively) join the usual swells and feedback to flesh out the mellow moments. Fathom' and the title track in many ways seem dismembered from the rest of the album by their heaviness, however the energy of these two tracks pushes open the door for third track Melee' to walk through - the other four songs follow naturally.

Lyrics — 9
There are no words beyond the underlying samples of When The Mountain Comes To Muhammad' and Melee', which are presumably used for atmospheric (rather than poetic) purposes.

Overall Impression — 10
Maybe in the end Russian Circles don't need to reach new heights with each album, because Geneva' is not another step up the ladder. When it is uncovered, Geneva' has humility and personality. There truly is a comfort to be found in this album; its inaccessibility retains its aura, like a fireplace's resonating warmth when you come home on a cold day. It's exactly that feeling that Philos' leaves you with; not with one of climax or a completed circle, but with one of an ongoing love, an infinite pool of passion from which you can extract your pretentious babble. It's albums like this that make music what it is.

25 comments sorted by best / new / date

    flxz
    Russian Circles is such an amazing band. Hope I can find this album somewhere soon.
    manmanster
    this review is easily the silliest, most pretentious thing I've ever read.
    There truly is a comfort to be found in this album; its inaccessibility retains its aura, like a fireplaces resonating warmth when you come home on a cold day.
    ? Save the crappy prose for a UG story post. Its not appropriate here.
    bdutch20
    can somebody get out some tabs on this band!?!?! I would love some bass tabs too...fathom?
    duncang
    voidSkipper wrote: Both the good and pad point of this album is that it is exactly what they have been doing for the last two. It doesn't go further, but Russian Circles are still one of the best post rock acts out there, and this isn't a step backwards from that either.
    That was certainly my first thought, but when it 'clicks', boy does it click.
    RobinTrower12
    Russian Circles is fantastic. The drummer absolutely blows my mind. I'm definitely gonna pick up this album when I get the cash.
    voidSkipper
    Both the good and pad point of this album is that it is exactly what they have been doing for the last two. It doesn't go further, but Russian Circles are still one of the best post rock acts out there, and this isn't a step backwards from that either.
    Avedas
    Awesome album, enjoying it very much. lol @ the review though.
    Harvey_Danger
    manmanster wrote: this review is easily the silliest, most pretentious thing I've ever read. There truly is a comfort to be found in this album; its inaccessibility retains its aura, like a fireplaces resonating warmth when you come home on a cold day. ? Save the crappy prose for a UG story post. Its not appropriate here.
    Uh oh, someone's frustrated that the big words hurt their brain! I've been getting really into Station lately, so I really want to listen to more of these guys.
    Nocturne12
    So happy to see Russian Circles on the front page! Such a great band. Nice work UG.
    duncang
    manmanster wrote: this review is easily the silliest, most pretentious thing I've ever read. There truly is a comfort to be found in this album; its inaccessibility retains its aura, like a fireplaces resonating warmth when you come home on a cold day. ? Save the crappy prose for a UG story post. Its not appropriate here.
    "an infinite pool of passion from which you can extract your pretentious babble." Doy.
    Tedward
    Great band They're like Post-rock for the impatient. Definitely gotta listen to this one, anyways.
    CtrlZ
    Andragon wrote: Woah didn't expect to see RC on UG. Awesome!
    Why not? I find awesome bands on this site all the time. It only updates once a day, but there's usually something worth looking at. Btw, glad I found this, these guys are awesome! I'm a fan of Pelican, but dare I say it, I think these guys are more interesting.
    Mr. Chang
    Really been diggin' this album lately. I've been meaning to give their first two albums a closer listen though.
    fissh
    Just want to actually commend the poster on such a dman good review, not just for giving a poisitve one but the language or it is just delicious. As for the album I absolutely love it, the review is true, it doesn't burst out as being better, because they are all truely awesome albums
    barden1069
    But catch up they do, and as they say, a wizard arrives precisely when he means to.
    lol But all jokes aside, these guys are awesome
    Restlesscow
    They are up there with the likes of Mogwai! Only heard 4 of there songs and so far all have been outstanding, especially Campaign
    OceanofNoise
    This album is definitely ridiculously good. I've spent a lot of time with it this week, and it gets better every time. The bass work is great.
    Music_Eater
    manmanster wrote: this review is easily the silliest, most pretentious thing I've ever read. There truly is a comfort to be found in this album; its inaccessibility retains its aura, like a fireplaces resonating warmth when you come home on a cold day. ? Save the crappy prose for a UG story post. Its not appropriate here.
    lol u raed alt m8!4444!!