Album Review: Russian Circles, "Geneva"

Post-rock is one of those misbegotten terms that serves more to obfuscate than elucidate. As an instrumental three-piece from Chicago playing expansive, unclichéd, unobvious rock/metal, Russian Circles can't really hope to escape such labeling.

But categories aside, what makes RC one of the most exciting bands around—apart from their power to cook up a musical maelstrom—is the sense of "positive blindness" that not being lumbered with a singer gives their music.

On numbers like the relentlessly building When the Mountain Comes to Muhammed and the towering title track, you get a sense of three musicians probing and exploring the music from deep within, rather than aiming for a distant spot on the horizon. On the frenetic, pulsating Malko, they just sound so tight band-wise that you imagine them sharing bathwater and sleeping in the same bed.

26th November, 2009

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