Home > Bargain > The Heavy Circles – Self-Titled

The Heavy Circles – Self-Titled

Dynamite Child, 2008

First off, this record was sealed when I picked it out, so yes I am indeed a dangerous man.  If this had been unsealed I could have easily opened the digipak and found pictures and pictures of feces, which would have been an instant no go (okay, well, I would have thought about putting it back).  Instead, I was left with the mystery of the cover art that I still can’t explain.  I also had no idea what the Dynamite Child label was all about, so I had virtually nothing to go on here.  I ultimately decided that the cute pink shadowed lettering was good enough for me.  Might as well start a band called “Shiny Prize Inside”, seal the crappy album with an official looking industry sticker, and sell the thing to this gullible dude right?  I’m too easy.

The Heavy Circles begin the record with the moody “Henri” and an atypical verse delivery that I found very intriguing.  The vocals of Edie Brickell are … wait, Edie Brickell?!  What I am is what I am and well okay okay, that was eons ago, but I was certainly surprised to find that Brickell’s vocals sound mesmerizing on this track.  Since her name isn’t plastered in a prominent spot, it’s possible that one could listen to this record without being reminded of her earlier ventures.  Name association can sometimes shake people off from a perfectly fine venture, y’know.

What I thought might be a more cool-vibed record based on the first track, “Better” and “Ready to Play” show that the direction that Harper Simon (son of Paul) and Brickell is more of whatever gets them going.  The songs are both peppy with bright guitar and upbeat drumming, which I appreciate but also kinda think that one can get confused as to what the Heavy Circles are about.  The group tones things down a bit with the exceptionally pretty “Confused” that utilizes a piano solo stirringly well.  When Brickell sings “I’m so confused” she adds enough inflection in “confused” that makes you think you’ve done something wrong and have to go buy some flowers.  At least my living room smells nicer now.

As the record floats along it is apparent that the sequel to “Henri” isn’t coming anytime soon.  Oh well.  There is a classic ska riff in “Need a Friend” that picks the album up a little bit near the end, but the song itself isn’t all that great unfortunately.  “Dynamite Child” takes on a rumbling surf-like theme that constitutes as the only rock track on the record.  Like I said before, even after seven songs the Heavy Circles still don’t know what they want to do.  I guess one has to take the good with the questionable, eh?

The Heavy Circles can be found on their niftily designed website and, of course, their MySpace page for some listening time.

With Brickell’s toned down vocals and Simon’s excellent guitar work make the Heavy Circles a solid band to follow up on if they put out another record.  This debut from the duo has enough on it for anyone looking for something poppy but not too in your face will enjoy.  It would be a real shame if these guys didn’t keep it going after this pleasant surprise of a record, so unless Edie Brickell goes on some kind of Bohemian reunion tour I suspect there will be another one along from the Heavy Circles soon enough.

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