April 27, 2006

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Winter Circle, The Huge and Hopeful
Self-release, 2006

Possessing all the elements you love to hate (barely-drinking-age kids from families wealthy enough to drag Grammy-winning producer Eric Delegard into their world, hick-town origins, and a sound virtually indistinguishable from the last couple-million Harvey Dangers), Oklahoma’s Winter Circle aren’t quite as bad as they look on paper if judged on hooks alone. Bands like Lakota and Sum 41 only wish they had the stones to go all-out MTV like this lot, whose “Streetlight Flicker” backdropped a few mosquito’s-attention-span moments on The Real World (not that it’d be useful for much else, but shoot the epoch, not the piano player). The song’s riff is a can’t-fail “Don’t Fear the Reaper” that’s stooped to wringing out the instant-oatmeal gravitas commonly shoved down the public throat since Kennedy got herself banished to game show hell, and there it’ll sit waiting to rot, most likely — the balance forward is composed of emo-rock Happy Meals that offer little improvement over Funeral For a Friend’s recent abandonment of the fast-tanking screamo ship. C
— E.W.S.


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