I’m gonna get this out there: My favorite bassist in Las Vegas is James Honaker.
So there’s that.
Cirka:Sik themselves will tell you that they’re not exactly what’s going on in the Vegas scene. Yeah, they’re Metal. They’re also more than that. They’re progressive, they’re alternative, they’re off the wall, and they’re as aggressive as any hardcore band.
Meeting somewhere between Dillinger Escape Plan, Tool, and Mudvayne, you’ll find a snug little place for Cirka:Sik to grow and fester into being one of the primary acts in town.
I had the chance to get to know the guys in late 2015, shortly after they released “Onconomy”, and they proved to be the real deal. Seeing them practice in their own studio was an experience in itself and truthfully wasn’t too different than seeing them in an actual live environment. You get explosive moments of emotion and pure adrenaline that continues to escalate into a controlled chaos where you question if it will break into a true fireball.
We featured their song “Sikness is Health” on our first digital compilation of local and unsigned artists last year. I felt it best represented them and the album as a whole with the quiet-on-the-verge-of-a-breakdown verses that always end up leading you into the craziness. That dynamic is displayed numerous times throughout the album.
Album opener “Another Fix” has a tasty traditional Metal riff, but when it all kicks in, the song immediately changes direction and so the pace is set for “Onconomy”; Certainly one of the most aggressive songs on here. “Battle Born” is my personal favorite track overall (Dat bass though.) The song is just a brutal thrashing assault and is meant to fuck it up in the pit. “Quarter 11” would give early KoRn a run for their money in melodic turmoil. “Utopia” is spoken word verses with heavy instrumental breaks, and in its simplicity is another favorite of mine and an excellent album closer.
This wasn’t their first album, but if you’re unaware of Cirka:Sik, you can feel free to start with this. Now that they’ve had line up changes and some time has passed, I’m very curious and anxious to hear what’s coming next. Maybe in 2017 we’ll receive some new stuff!
Standout tracks? Another Fix, Sikness is Health, Battle Born, Breather, Quarter 11, String of Charlotte, Riots in Utopia
Reviewed by Marcus Miller