The Out_Circuit have returned a full five years after the band’s debut album, Burn Your Scripts, Boys. Pierce The Empire With A Sound, shows off an expansive maturation. Where Burn Your Scripts, Boys rarely strayed from its course, Pierce The Empire With A Sound is impressive in its creative scope. Ex-Frodus member Nathan Burke is the mastermind behind The Out_Circuit and he is able to showcase his songwriting and arrangement skills here.
Opening song “Come Out Shooting” sounds incredibly familiar to the moody strains that highlighted Frodus‘ masterpiece And We Washed Our Weapons In The Sea. Burke’s give and take between soothing and screamed vocals adds a rich texture to the song. Unfortunately though, that’s where the Frodus comparisons end for the most part. “The Fall Of Las Vegas” sees the vocal growl of Sean Ingram of Coalesce making an appearance while Rachel Burke’s vocals on “Across The Light” add yet another dimension to the record. “The Contender” is reminiscent of Thrice and obviously that is most likely due to Dustin Kensrue taking the lead vocals. However, there are more than a few parallels between the two band’s sounds. Both were/are certainly pushing the limits of post-hardcore. Other notable contributions on Pierce The Empire With A Sound come from Teppei Teranshi (Thrice), Matt Johnson (Unwed Sailor/Roadside Monument) and Andy Gale (Haram).
Much of the material here leans heavily on a slower pace and Burke’s somber vocals are a natural guide. Too often though, without the help of hired gun vocalists, Pierce The Empire With A Sound begins to suffer from a noticeable sameness. The changes of pace simply do not occur enough. The results across Pierce The Empire With A Sound are scattered but still impressive overall. But, I guess I was just hoping for a bit more here. Let’s hope Burke’s next offering doesn’t take him another five years.
RIYL: Frodus, Thrice, Fugazi
Come Out Shooting
Across The Light