Funky Circus Fleas. Heard of ‘em? You should have by now, so pull up your chairs kiddies and sit down for a rock album that makes an impression and leaves you begging for more. The group’s most recent release, California, has the chill backbone of a sunny day jam session, with the edgy accents of System of a Down, and the sonic power and lovability of a classic rock album.
As the album opens, we’re treated with a laid back and lovely first two tracks, The Freezing Process and Betty’s Pen. As we get into the latter track, the band showcases their love of percussion, cool bass and guitar infusions, and the dynamic pipes of FCF’s vocalist. It’s one of the highlights of the album, as you get to experience the equal influences of chill stoner rock and high energy classic rock. Aok follows with a heavy 80’s influence and a great thrumming to surround the piece.
With winding Avenged Sevenfold-esque opening riffs and stadium borne vocals, Out of Sorts plays up to the sensibilities. Suspending time and space for a moment, the track drops an epic bass line without missing a beat. The tribal prevalence of the drums throughout the album continues as a trend here.
Fans of System of A Down will invariably appreciate ironically named Opaque, with a repeated reverie of “You’re so clear”. Fast, rough, and edgy vocals are well complimented by equally edgy riffs and borderline tribal percussion. Taking things down a notch, the track goes for a brief interlude of what could easily be the soundtrack for an out-of-body trip session.
Sonically random Dramamine starts out as a sort of party anthem, complete with group claps and light, straightforward riffs. This quickly transgresses into a chest beating testosterone fest, deep, fast, and accusatory.
Lyrically adopting a more pensive and dark note, Taken gallops in with lines such as “My dysfunctional pathetic mind/has once again betrayed me” and determined claims “You can’t break me”. In a Karnivool meets System of a Down meets hardcore jamboree, this track keeps listeners intent up to the last beat.
Sticking with the theme are tracks Finding Emo, Mr. Positive, and Diary of a Therapist, the quietest of them all. Rounding out the album is the aptly named closing track Thaw, in which we’re treated with a random anecdote and some nifty fun on the guitar.
Overall folks, we couldn’t recommend this album more. The numerous influences and emotions that the album evokes make it palatable to music lovers from a wide range of camps. The only thing left is to wait and see what these guys throw at us next, and we’ll be more than ready when it comes.
Check out the Funky Circus Fleas on their Facebook and be sure to grab California, now available on iTunes and Amazon.