Artists | Issues | CD Reviews | Interviews | Concert Reviews | DVD/Video Reviews | Book Reviews | Who We Are | Staff | Home


Seasick Circus

Review by Gary Hill

I have included this set under progressive rock. That's not a tight fit, but I think it's the right place for it. Don't come here expecting old-school progressive rock. This lands there more as art rock. It's got a real experimental edge to it. This is at times more mainstream, but there are pretty much always unusual elements poking in at weird angles. While male vocals are the main ones, there are plenty of female vocals, too. Everything about this just screams "not your ordinary music," yet it really works.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2024  Volume 1 More information and purchase links can be found at:

Track by Track Review
Steel Interlude 1
This is a short, echoey, distortion-laden bit of textural sound.
Seasick Circus
Coming in as a continuation of the previous piece, this works out to a more driving, reggae meets space rock kind of groove after a time. As the vocals join I'm reminded of something like Camper Van Beethoven. There are some jazzy and folk elements built into this, too. It's an intriguing mix of sounds that is unique and so classy.
This has some alternative rock and jazz elements at play. It also brings more of that space rock thing to bear. I love that there are various layers of vocals that seem to run counter to one another, yet complement each other.
Steel Interlude 2
Echoey, trippy sounds are on display here. This is another atmospheric instrumental.
Front Row Seat
This is a dreamy, artsy number that has a healthy helping of space music in the mix.
Steel Interlude 3
Another short instrumental piece, this is closer to the first one than the last one, but the difference is only minor.
In The Woods
There are Latin, jazzy vibes early, but this works out to more of an alternative art rock sound in the vein of Camper Van Beethoven in some ways.
Steel Interlude 4
By now you get the idea of what these are. This feels more like something that would have fit in one of the ambient slots in Dio-era Black Sabbath.
There is a soulful kind of vibe to this cut. It still has more of that artsy weirdness at play. I love the lines of vocals that seem to come from everywhere. It's quite a powerhouse at times.
Steel Interlude 5
More trippiness ensues here.
This piece has some really freaky vibes. It's perhaps a bit restrained in terms of volume level, but the sonic weirdness is quite high here.
Down and Out
More of a driving, raw rocker, this still has plenty of that arrsy angle. Horns bring some jazz vibes. Overall this is another killer slab of classy unique music.
Ripple Effect
While this is a bit more mainstream, it still has plenty of quirky and crazy things at play. It gets into some pretty freaky territory at the end, too.
Steel Interlude 6
This is pretty much exactly what you would expect, given the history to this point.
Hard rocking, but also intriguing in its artistic angles, this is also somehow one of the more accessible tracks here.
The slide guitar on this is classy. This is a mellower, more decidedly mainstream song. While it has a lot of Americana in the mix, it's also not far removed from some early Pink Floyd.
Steel Interlude 7
While not a huge change, this is mellower and more dreamy than some of the other of these interludes.
Things You're Gonna Regret
Freaky, trippy sounds merge with more mainstream alternative rock, artsy vibes and jazz elements on the closer. It's not a big surprise, but it's a solid entry.

   Creative Commons License
   This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

    © 2024 Music Street Journal                                                                           Site design and programming by Studio Fyra, Inc./