Pierce the Empire With a Sound
The Out_Circuit, headed up by former D.C. post-hardcore band Frodus front man Nathan Burke, is traveling down the same road as Thrice with their sophomore effort Pierce the Empire With a Sound. The songs are atmospheric, and filled with Radiohead-light moments of trippy bliss that are layered with harder edged effects. They’re masculine, yet dreamy.
The album comes off much like Thrice’s current two-part double album project, The Alchemy Index, only without the epic proportions. With guest appearances by Thrice’s Dustin Kensrue and Teppei Teranishi, it seems as though this band is not making any attempt to bury their influences too deeply.
When this album dives head-first into the light-headed places, fraught with piano and airy vocals, then the songs work best. “The Contender,” “Passchendaele,” and “The Hexagon” for example — this trio of songs are as good, if not better, than some of my favorite current Thrice moments.
It’s when the band falls back on the haunches of spastic screamcore, like “The Fall of Las Vegas,” that they lose me. The drawn-out, emotionally barren growl is the 21st Century equivalent of spandex pants. It’s not going to make your penis look bigger, it’s only going to make you look like a fool.
The Out_Circuit: virb.com/theoutcircuit