One of the most entertaining things about experiencing concerts is witnessing other people's reactions to the shared music. Some folks have the ability to react so strikingly that your attention drifts away from the music to keeping an eye on what one person is going to do next. Anthony Green is one such individual. During Circa Survive's set at the Rock on the Range festival in Columbus last summer, the vocalist made for a weird, immensely captivating force. He would rattle his body like lightning was repeatedly striking him and roll his eyes into the back of his head as if someone was in the middle of performing an exorcism on him.
By the time “Stop the Fuckin' Car” came to a close, he had a look on his face that was awfully reminiscent of that famous Jack Nicholson close-up in The Shining. Even when there was no music present, he'd veer off into his own world, aimlessly chattering about starvation and dehydration. Apparently, such enthusiasm is a regular thing for Green, making it a major asset to the band's live show. (The rest of the group gets into it, too, but it's nothing nearly as over the top.)
Fortunately, Circa Survive's Post Hardcore provides enough histrionic turns that the frontman's antics make contextual sense. Blue Sky Noise, the latest record from the Philly five-piece, is driven by distortion-manipulated guitars that are prone to expanding into lush patterns.
There's a morose, unexpectedly complex beauty to its sound. Really, the only problems lie on Green's side. His vaguely sketched lyrics are delivered in an unbecoming, childish whine. He can get especially grating when gnawing at his words or going for higher notes. Still, if you're planning on seeing Circa in person, that anxious onstage performance art should handsomely pick up his singing's slack.