In today’s world of overly-produced songs, hit singles and little Canadian twerps catching the weak-minded by the heartstrings (I’m talking to you, Beiber), it’s nice to catch a reprieve.
Bread and Circuses is that break.
Based out of Seattle, the four talents in its ranks released their eponymous independent debut in August 2010.
Definitively grooved in the rock genre, it’s a solid first effort that should garner them some support and help get momentum for larger gigs. The record isn’t polished, nor is it pretty, but it sounds pretty stinking good.
With 13 tracks, including three quick instrumentals, there is a great pace to the album that many modern musicians can’t seem to nail down. In general, Bread and Circuses is great to listen to when hanging out with some friends. Whether it’s driving down a highway or out downtown, their music fits most atmospheres.
“Three-Five-Oh” has a chorus which will have newcomers signing along at least halfway through. I speak from experience on that point.
“You’re So Numb” has moments where the group channels a vintage Elvis Costello, particularly in the chorus and bridge. It would fit right in with his music in the “Radio, Radio” days.
By far the best track on the album is “Maximus 2.0DE.” The title is as catchy as the instrumental on this one. Hearing the trumpet included was a great change for the album, albeit a risky one. The group pulled it off, however, and it’s really quite good. As a result, the instrumental portions of the song stand out as some of their best work on the album.
Right along with the full-length tracks, the instrumentals help break up some of the sections of the album. “Law of Argelius” in particular gave the bassist and drummer a chance to break out for at least half a minute. It may not seem like long, but those 30 seconds offer some insight as to the direction this band can truly go in the future.
While the album is very strong, some improvements lie in the vocal harmonies and drum levels. They are small things for them to work on in preparation for another record, one that will likely catch some industry member’s ear – if it hasn’t already.
Bread and Circuses clearly had fun making this album, and it shows throughout. But something bigger does lie ahead for the group of four. Everyone has their moment in the limelight, especially in lyrical content.
Marcus Buser, singer and guitarist, has particularly strong lyrics on the very emotional and personal track, “Pictures in My Head,” showing his talent both on and off the stage.
Keep an eye and ear out for this group – it won’t be the last you’ll hear of them.