South West rockers Circle of Reason return with their 2nd release, These Hands and This Mind which is a 5 track EP and sounds like a blend of current-era Exit Ten, Fightstar and short-lived alt-rockers In Case of Fire.
These Hands… is a fairly mid-paced rock record that focusses on carefully building strong melodies before backing them with some satisfyingly, chunky riffing. Circle of Reason are in no rush to beat their audience around the head with an immediate and unnerving blast of rock and prefer to take a more considerate approach by easing the listener into their alt-rock leanings.
Themes Amongst Thieves is the only song on the EP that begins with a massive, crunchy riff that’s almost metalcore in fashion. It isn’t too long until the song develops into a massive, heart-on-sleeve chorus with vocalist and guitarist Simon doing a fantastic job of delivering his emphatic vocals.
The problem with Circle of Reason’s focus on mid-paced songs is that all of the songs on These Hands… tend to blend into each other. With a bit more variety in the song writing department, Circle of Reason could’ve unearthed a set of unique and distinct songs.
The songs also lack memorable chorus’ and instead opt for an almost progressive approach that means a melody doesn’t usually get revisited. This is a shame because as mentioned before, vocalist and guitarist Simon does put in a great vocal performance, but with know focal melody the songs just seem to meander along with no focus.
Circle of Reason are a peculiar band who obviously have a passion for slow-building, thoughtful song writing but can’t quite muster enough ideas to keep their music interesting. With a bit more variety in tempo and a stronger focus on melodies this band could turn out a splendid alt-rock release, but unfortunately These Hands and This Mind isn’t that release.
Circle of Reason’s These Hands and This Mind will be released by the band on July 29th.