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Russian Circles: Station

B-

Russian Circles

Album: Station
Label: Suicide Squeeze

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Although they can easily unleash a wall-flattening torrent of instrumental math-metal, Russian Circles have always favored a more refined approach: Heavier moments—generally moments, not full songs—build gradually and dissipate organically. After all, the band hails from Chicago, where the post-rock scent of Tortoise and The Sea And Cake still lingers in the air. The style can satisfy both camps: Rockers get their metallic fix, and the post-rock crowd can soak up the atmosphere. Either way, Station requires patience, more so than its predecessor, Enter. There are no all-out rockers like Enter's "Death Rides A Horse," just six tracks that take their time getting anywhere. For fans of Russian Circles' heavier predilections, Station might be a little boring; the band has grown stingier with the bombast, which in turn means less excitement—Russian Circles are most impressive when they rock out. But guitarist Mike Sullivan and drummer Dave Turncrantz—original bassist Colin DeKuiper left before Station, with Brian Cook of These Arms Are Snakes filling in—are less interested in quick thrills than compositional cohesion. The thrills may not come quickly, but Station still has plenty of them.