If you were to mix The Beatles and The Black Keys you’d uncover a bluesy, fresh sound that would be the epitome of British guitar music. Circles, hailing from Birmingham, have worked their inspirations in such a way that their sound feels so familiar and likeable, yet something original and recent. Their debut EP ‘Gonna Get To You’ – released on Skeleton Key Records – takes you back to the rock ‘n’ roll years with an album recorded in their kitchen, as the lino and cupboards created the best acoustics and raw drum sound they wanted. It’s all thought out in order to make the best impression possible.
Opening the EP is the steady paced title track ‘Gonna Get To You’ which, with its energetic yet restrained guitars, poses as a slight starter for what else is to come. It doesn’t keep to this for too long though, as less than two minutes in we’re offered the first guitar solo – making it clear they’re not shy to show everything off straightaway. Back with the slick twangy guitar, energetic drums and the bouncing bass is ‘Open Road’ which, along with the ardent vocals, makes it slightly comparable to the likes of Miles Kane (but without the constant reminder of the mod revival). With lyrics like “the only place I know will be the open road” there’s no disguising their plan to make it all sound and be their own.
‘Twisted Words’ adds a little variation into the EP, with everything taking a backseat while the vocals and a tambourine take over and do all the work. The melancholic chord progression sets the scene with the sullen voice of Cross and backing from Foster and McMurray not adding any hint of elation to the track. Instantly this is all forgotten about in the closer ‘Nothing Comes That Easy’ – it’s crammed with full-force vigour which would make John Lennon proud. Circles haven’t been scared to step it up a level for the final track as they’ve rooted themselves right into the old school British rock ‘n’ roll bracket most fail to get into.
Nowadays most bands play it safe on their debut with the big, harmless tunes, so it’s good to see a band make a big step away from a lot of recent releases and make the rock ‘n’ roll they already like, and reviving it for the new age of fans decades later.