Russian Circles 

Station

In barely four years of existence, Chicago's Russian Circles have etched out quite a name for themselves. In the Windy City, the trio became a nearly overnight success. While the likes of Pelican, Mogwai, Explosions in the Sky, and Don Caballero have influenced a myriad of new instrumental acts, few are able to consistently captivate audiences. Within months of playing their first shows, Russian Circles were maxing out capacity limits in small clubs and DIY spots throughout the city, leaving a trail of dropped jaws in their wake. Since then, their mechanical precision, orchestral arrangements, swelling dynamics, and sheer intensity have created what seems to be an unstoppable force of international subculture hype that, for once, is entirely justifiable.

The marvel of Station, the follow-up to 2006's Enter, lies in its wordless narrative. Each of the record's six tracks (some of which top out at almost nine minutes) seep into the senses like a chapter, culminating into a seamless and moving collective work. Although songs such as "Harper Lewis" and "Youngblood" bear elements of the signature speed riffs and crushing blasts that defined Russian Circles' debut, Station often embraces a quieter, more ethereal tone. Guitarist Mike Sullivan's knack for both loop-layered intricacy and relentless bursts of high-volume stadium-ready power shines with indie-virtuoso credibility. Drummer Dave Turncrantz's flawlessly syncopated ebb-and-flow sets the foundation while newly recruited bassist Brian Cook (of These Arms Are Snakes and Botch), fills out the equation with a grizzly and ominous low-end. Spine tingling and rife with a fluidity that defies conventions of classification, Station marks one of the year's finest aural installments and will undoubtedly capture a vast array of listeners. (Suicide Squeeze)

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