The birth of Circa Survive occurred when frontman Anthony Green decided to make the split from former band Saosin. With his departure came Circa Survive, the next big thing in indie emo music.
The emotional upheaval and subsequent intense focus implied by this story is apparent on their Equal Vision debut, Juturna.
Adding pieces of emo, math-rock, indie, and even new wave-influenced pop of the Fixx variety, Circa Survives’ music lays a bed of dreary, effects-laden guitar tones and complex bass/drum figures under Green’s spooky, pre-pubescent-sounding vocals. Perhaps the strongest track of the album, “Act Appalled,” is the perfect showcase for exactly what the band is capable of. They’re all over the musical spectrum on this record, from screams to the most gentle-sounding vocals, all backed with complex and layered, very lush, vibrant musical orchestrations. They weave through the deepest-rooted emo stylings and purest indie clichés. The track “Stop the Car” features speedy, Rush-esque hi-hats matched with vibrato guitar and Green’s melancholy, legato phrasing. Even more musical diversity is displayed during the song “In Fear and Death.” Its ska-influenced rhythm and high-pitched pop melody recalls that of the Regatta De Blanc-era The Police. Almost overlooked, and perhaps overshadowed, is Green’s ability to lyrically create 11 separate living, breathing beings. His lyrics are poignant, insightful, and truthful. Green’s capacity to create life in each track brings to mind the late songwriting of former Smashing Pumpkins leader Billy Corgan. This is heard on the acoustic offering “Meet Me in Montauk.” The song, which sounds like Green alone in a room with a dingy four-track, brings to light the sheer capacity as a wordsmith this guy has.
With driving, hardcore-influenced, dissonance-infused rock, Circa Survive’s first album is an intriguing record that points to a promising future for the group.