Fireworks

Circus Of Power - 'Vices' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/f0/d4/78/1024_CircusOfPowerVices_1298573480.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     February 24, 2011    
 
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This definitive version of 'Vices' is a fitting testament to a band at their peak.

When Guns N' Roses first exploded out of LA in the late 80's to take the hard rock world by storm, it heralded the dawn of a frantic feeding frenzy as all the major players fought one another for a stake in the blossoming sleaze market. The very scene that had spawned G N' R would of course provide a steady succession of contenders (although most it has to be said were poor second rate copies), whilst two and a half thousand miles away on the East Coast, New York offered up Circus Of Power.

Signed by an influential RCA (who were more than happy to exploit 'the next G N' R angle) Circus Of Power issued their self titled debut in 1988 (itself the subject of a cracking reissue a couple of years back). Backed by heavy rotation and feted by certain sections of the music press as the next big thing, it's kind of ironic that 'Circus Of Power' failed to produce the predicted sales, although thankfully, it fared well enough for RCA to stump up the readies for a follow up.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Released some two years later, just like the debut 'Vices' was created under the stewardship of producer Daniel Rey. Every bit as good as its predecessor, 'Vices' still had that same 'fuck you' attitude but benefitted no end from a noticeable improvement in songwriting. Furthermore, the addition of new bassist Zowie meant that Gary Sunshine could assume the role of second guitarist, the sinewy cut and thrust as he traded licks with Rickey Beck Mahler both enriching and reinforcing the bands' trademark bluesy sound.

A sweat soaked, broiling cauldron of influences which encompassed everybody from AC/DC to Aerosmith, The Rolling Stones to Iggy Pop; on this release the Circus Of Power sound was enriched further with a healthy injection of Skynyrd meets Molly Hatchet style southern boogie (check out the pumping 'Got Hard' and you'll see exactly what I mean). Attitude and aggression are always essential in this particular genre, but without great songs to back it up, you'll sound find yourself discarded by the wayside ... fortunately for them, this time around Circus Of Power had hit an ultra rich vein of creativity with the likes of 'Gates Of Love', 'Vices', 'Don't Drag Me Down' and 'Doctor Potion' (to name but four).

Once again superbly remastered by Jon Astley and cunningly repackaged with all five tracks from their 'Live At The Ritz' EP, this definitive version of 'Vices' is a fitting testament to a band at their peak.

Dave Cockett

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