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CIRCLE X - s/t 12"


CIRCLE X - s/t 12"

Limited to 500 copies.
180 gram vinyl with original artwork plus liner notes.
Highly recommended by Strangeworld.

No music scares anyone anymore, but there was a time when punk rock actually did make people uneasy. It was weird, dangerous, serial killer music. If you liked this stuff, people assumed there was something wrong with you. It was pretty cool.
This almost-forty year old Circle X EP - full of tortured yelp vocals, guitars that sound like power tools sawing through sheet metal, and tracks that aren't so much "songs" as they are psychotic episodes—isn't likely to scare a third grader in 2017, but if you turn this up loud enough, make your room dark enough, and shut out the outside world enough, you can sort of hear that weird old spirit. If not, at least the spastic closing track, "Underworld", is a great rocker.

Formed 1978 in New York, Circle X was born out of the ashes of No Fun and the I-Holes as Louisville’s first punk rock band. Once the lineup of Circle X solidified, the formerly-punk band lunged headfirst into weirder, artier territory. Whether the big city’s burgeoning No Wave scene influenced Circle X or they influenced the scene is unclear; what is clear, though, is that Circle X was the most unique, most mysterious, and most un-heralded band hailing from that place and time.
This untitled 12-inch debut was practically without antecedent. It’s a lurching, squalling monster. Identified only by a symbol on the cover (a spray-painted circle with an "X" through it; the spelled-out name first appeared in '83), it pits Pinotti's screeched vocals against Witsiepe and the Letendres' bass-less, barely contained distorto-blare. The hatred and rage on this thing is palpable and when it coalesces perfectly with the music, as it does on the lead track, Tender, it’s pretty damn effective. Nothing sounded like this in 1979.
They arrived in New York at the tail end of No Wave, at the same time that equally ornery bands like Swans and Sonic Youth were getting revved up. Circle X are every bit as distinctive and attitudinal as Throbbing Gristle, PiL, Theoretical Girls, DNA, or Mars, yet they don't much sound like any of them. It has lost none of its intensity and rage.

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