Circa Waves - 'What's It Like Over There?'

6/10

When they released their heavily-praised debut album 'Young Chasers' back in 2015, Circa Waves were introduced as one of the new saviours of riff-focused indie-rock. The band's proficiency for high-energy anthems in a commercial guise served them extraordinarily well during their initial years, and on their follow-up LP 'Different Creatures'. But as they look to deliver their third full-length 'What's It Like Over There?', the band have clearly had a change of heart when it comes to direction, swapping out their usual tenacity for a more mellowed and piano-led intention.

Much like when Arctic Monkeys released their latest album 'Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino' last year, this new Circa Waves album will probably be met with a quizzical look from their fanbase. Although not quite a full u-turn on their original sound, 'What's It Like Over There?' sees the group attempting to evolve on what they had before, keeping the riff mentality going but stripping away a lot of the pace and ferociousness in order to deliver something far softer and poignant in its place. Although it is not what many well expecting, the band's bravery pays off in portions, hitting the high mark occasionally while the rest falters under the weight of their newest interests at times.

It may not be the album fans would have been waiting or even hoping for, but it still sees an adventurous and creative Circa Waves at the helm. Their confidence to embark on this brave new path flows out of this record from start to finish, making it less of a damp squib and more of a work in progress. Transition is always hard for an established band to attempt, but it still feels like the group have the passion to see it through.

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