Demo #2 - Circa Never
By Benjamin Irons
Hot out of drummer Frazer Holloway's bedroom, Demo #2 will give you an idea of just how raw and reckless the leafy-Londoners Circa Never really are.
Straight out of a postmodern new-wave, grunge era, Circa Never have appropriated their sound from the likes Alice In Chains and Nirvana through frontman Steve Lamb's vocals, with a twist of Gun's N' Roses and Hendrix from lead guitarists Callum Higgs and Tom Daniels.
As a follow-up to their 2015 release The Demo, Demo #2 explores a partially perverted revolution of deprivation and escapism - themes that barely seem to escape metal music these days. Nevertheless, they're revival of grunge is refreshing. Leading track "Degenerate" is an unkempt, rocky affair that blends Led Zeppelin riffs with Kurt Cobain vocals, making for the EP's liveliest number.
"Drift Away" is a rather sombre departure from their conventionally upbeat behaviour, and sees the 5-piece tread into Staind-esque territory, channeling a darker quality than what they're used to. Meanwhile, third and final track "If There Is A God" forges a funereal opening two minutes, but quickly escalates into a early 90's grunge compilation of loudly sung notes and earsplitting guitar.
While there are elements in Demo #2 of a tenderfoot approach to recording, their desires to escape the confines of dimly lit bedroom are made apparent on each track, and are likely to see the 5-piece swap curtains and mattresses for modular desks and sound-proof tiling.