Hailing from London, Circus Cannon is a powerful four-piece heavy-psych band. The band honed their sound while rehearsing in unused buildings, and ended up producing a sound that is both unique and eclectic. They seem to draw from powerful influences, but produce a sound that is unique and which adds diversity to the genre. The band’s newest independent release, Ashmedai, came out on July 4th, and is available for free or “name your price” on Bandcamp.
Ashmedai is the latest in the band’s quadrilogy of EPs, all of which demonstrate the band’s ability to create both interesting vocal driven and instrumental music. Ashmedai contains four songs, each very different from each other, but tied together by the common threads of riffs, trippy guitar leads, heavy bass, and pounding drums. The EP also features plenty of cool change-ups, heavy distortion, and an experimental flavor, sharing a vein with notable veterans like Dead Meadow.
Frog King (4:49) is the instrumental first-track. The wah pedal features heavily and the song has several tight change-ups that keep it rocking. Dynamic guitar leads and a dialed in rhythm section make this a solid opener, and the intensity and heaviness of the ending sound amazing.
The second track, Yes Yes Yes Yes (4:56), is proabably the EP’s most structured song. It starts right in with a riffy groove before the vocals make their first appearance. The vocals, though shaky at times, are very melodic and gave me some slight Nazareth vibes. The instrumental outro is mellow, with a nice, understated guitar lead.
Goblin (3:09) is one of the most experimental tracks on the EP, with a trippy opening, and an interesting drum beat that plays off of both the bass and guitar, which are employing different time signatures. This section is satisfyingly interrupted by a heavy section that unifies all of the instruments, before falling back into the multi-rhythmic groove for the finisher.
Wendigo (4:49) finishes up the EP solidly. The heavily distorted vocals sound great, forming out of phasing guitars, with each taking turns supplying the melody. The bass stands out heavily in a good way, holding down the song while the guitars explore the sonic space. The song wraps up with some tasty drum fills interspersed throughout a syncopated finish.
Ashmedai is a solid release that rewards repeat listens and draws you in with its complex sounds and arrangements. Remember to download it for free on Bandcamp or support the band by naming your price. If you’re in the London area, check out the band at a free show on September 13th at The Underdog, performing with Trevors Head and Dead Yeti.