Circuit 68, Eleven

Circuit 68 are a 4-piece rock n roll band from North East England, inspired by decidedly different acts such as the Beatles, the Beach Boys and….the Sex Pistols. Interesting; and it’s a great idea to blend those seemingly divergent influences. If they get it right, this could certainly be good. The band’s new album “Eleven” is their full-length debut and what they see as their entry point to the larger rock world.

“Vox Vocis” is an extremely short introduction with the sole purpose of demonstrating the 60’s style harmonies these guys are capable of. Point proven, and it works. “Perno Inferno” rises next out of a wall of feedback into some raging guitar riffs that sound much more like the Sex Pistols than the Beatles — in fact, I’d go as far as to say Motorhead in this case. The whole thing is refreshingly edgy, and vocalist Gary Miller even lets loose a Joe Strummer style yelp. I can appreciate that, because most bands are afraid to let loose these days, and the rawness is sorely missing. Circuit 68 seemed to be well aware of the importance of proving your rock worthiness right out of the gate with this track, and it hits on all cylinders. The whole rhythm section is tight and the song-writing is strong.

As the saying goes; “The band can play and the singer can sing”.

“Let It Go” is really where the Beatles influence comes in with a distinctly George Harrison-inspired guitar riff opening the track. Circuit 68 shows right away that they’re not keen on playing it straight though, as the drums slam on the downbeat and guitar chugging abounds. There is metal and punk evident here, and once again I’m imagining how refreshing this would be in a club setting. They’re showing a talent for uniting the edgy with the melodic. The chorus is a winner with its soaring vocals, anthem repeat and psychedelic sound effects.

“King of the Table” shows versatility with a funky breakbeat and fuzzed out bass. The changes remind me of some of the Foo Fighter’s recent output; well-chosen chords and strong hooks. “What Gives” is vintage 60’s with a slight punk edge; the Rolling Stones meet the Who, and there is a subtle darkness in the mood. The 60’s influence pops up in our culture but few bands go this far — Circuit 68 do so to their benefit, for the most part. “60 Guineas to Bombay” is sonically similar to “Vox Vocis”, with its punk swagger and rock n roll attitude. “Love Will Find You” uses some creative noise and beautiful guitar sweels, though the vocal line was slightly awkward and the potential of the song remained partially latent. However, it does show the band’s versatility which is a definite plus.

“Insane Love”, “Evil Twin” and “Coming Home” all bring the rock, and they’re all both well-structured and very catchy. Appropriately, the guys close the album with a strong ballad, “The End”, and it showcases the strength of their harmonies and song-writing.

While Circuit 68’s “Eleven” may not break down many new doors style-wise, it’s a very solid debut that actually delivers what it promises. Good rock music. It wouldn’t be a bad thing by any means if more bands delivered the same!

Independent Music Promotions –

[Rating: 4/5]

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