US - Georgia - Full Moon 61 - 10/02/01
After releasing the flawed masterpieces that are Dusk At Cubist Castle and
Black Foliage, Olivia Tremor Control disappeared off the
psychedelic scope. Rumours abounded that the band had split for good, as Bill Doss went on to
form Sunshine Fix. Other Elephant 6 bands such as Beulah, Of Montreal and Elf Power have gone
on to record albums of varying quality. Still no sign of a new Neutral Milk Hotel album, even
though Jeff Mangum has just released his live performance at Jittery
Joe's on Orange Twin. And then along comes Circulatory System.
Essentially the solo project of Will Cullen Hart, Circulatory System enlists the help
of his Elephant 6 buddies on instrumentation, but all of these 22 (yes, 22) songs are penned by
the man himself. Will has managed to create an amazingly ethereal album that is incredibly
moving and beautiful, woozy like a dream state yet immediately melodic and catchy.
Anyone that has ever heard an Olivia Tremor Control album will be in familiar territory, but
Circulatory System thankfully abandons the lengthy sound collages that tended to make
Dusk and Foliage hard work. Instead there are eerie, sad, strange songs such as
Joy and Now; familiar, absurdly catchy fuzz pop such as Yesterday's World;
and all the spectrum of musical colours between. These songs will seep into your consciousness
and you'll find yourself humming hooks and singing lines as you go about your day.
I can't quite convey exactly what it is about this album that is so completely wonderful.
All I can say is that it's a real shame that very few people will ever hear it. If you want my
advice - and after all, this is a record review, intended to give music fans a helping hand -
go and buy this album and you'll never regret it.
Copyright © 2001 Tim Clarke