Two years have passed since Circa Waves had us remembering T-shirt weather. It seems in that time the lads have turned their attention away from unearthing ‘Fossils’; concentrating instead on digging up new gems. Bouncing back with a freshly evolved noise that holds a slightly heavier rock influence, ‘Different Creatures’ teases a more meaningful message but still harks back to the band’s twee-pop stomping grounds at times.
An angst fuelled sting of over-driven guitar bursts through the speakers; leaving you on your heels from the moment you press play. The first track is ‘Wake Up’ and true to its title it readies its listeners for the ‘Different Creature’ that is about to be unleashed. ‘Wake up’ has everything you’d expect from an opening track; fast paced beats augmented with unfaltering trashes from a trio of guitars which gear you up for the tracks to follow.
‘Fire That Burns’ releases some of the tension gained from moments before. However, the false sense of calm instilled via the verse is soon to be tainted. Expanding bass-lines and winding guitar picks echo the lyric “I’ve been wound up, both ways” which provokes pressure during the pre-chorus. The chorus eventually crashes down and fades into an eerie and syncopated guitar lead. The repetitive lead is introduced at the birth of the second verse and maintains a sense of urgency. ‘Fire That Burns’ also happens to be the second single to be lifted from ‘Different Creatures’.
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Track four ‘Out On My Own’ starts as an emotional premonition of regret and self loathing. The song lists off doubts and shortcomings before blanketing the emotion with the lyric “I’m starting to realise I’m not on my own”. It is a real coming of age track that outlines confidence issues and a feeling of isolation before encouraging a sense of community.
Nightrider-esque moods are established during the title track ‘Different Creatures’. You could definitely picture Kit gallantly cruising across the sunset horizon to this track. Terrible comparisons aside, the lyrical content of this song really hits hard. With lines like “Making up as you go, you go and close our borders” amongst others poking the finger at politics; this song is a true rebel shout out for the less fortunate.
The second half of the album begins to get a little more light-hearted, returning to the familiar sounds of Circa Waves’ first album. ‘Love’s Run Out’ is an emotional rendering of acoustic bliss dedicated to front-man Keiran’s girlfriend which is so intimate that you could swear he’s sat right next to you. A witty observation on the human condition of feeling ‘Stuck’ yet filling our finite time with “poisonous T.V” is what you can expect from track no. 8.
Championing a soothing sliding guitar melody, a warm bass and a chilled out grooving beat, the final track of the album is ‘Old Friends’, a tale of meeting the old gang for drink to “talk shit.” Circa Waves really came prepared with this one avoiding the dreaded curse of the second album. By implementing enough difference to sound fresh but still remaining true to their humble beginnings they’ve managed to avoid getting “Stuck In The Teeth” of this ‘Different Creature.’
‘Different Creatures’ is out now via Virgin EMI Records.