Circles Still. LP

Having formed in Nantes, France in 2017, this marks CIRCLES’ sixth release. The band notes ’80s DC hardcore as a main influence for their sound, with a melodic twist. I hear this in songs like “Sunglasses,” with pummeled drums, angular guitars, and shouted/sung lyrics. While the title track “Still” starts with a FUGAZI-esque riff, it really takes a turn with a long, almost orchestral outro, featuring synths and keys. Other songs like “Giants” and “Waves” have brighter, splashy drums with a tambourine rattle and some of that melodic vocal influence, producing a pop-forward sound. Given this range of focus, I was a little lost after the first listen, but after a few plays, I think CIRCLES achieves the cohesiveness of a solid album with Still.

Circles The Defenestration of Prague cassette

Although these dudes are pretty sedate compared to modern HC outfits, they play some enjoyable twangy garage punk. The lyrics dwell on personal and political matters and “War Heroes” is destined to be an underground classic.