The Finnish trio Sircuscus was born in February of 2010, and they recorded and released their debut "Brutal Ethnology" in the fall of the same year. The EP is available as a free download, as well as an affordable CD.

The twenty minutes hold a wide variety of different genre-mixes, styles and atmospheres, but the overall experience could shortly be described as bouncy and twitching punk rock. The group's music gets its backbone from the bass-guitar-drum combination that delivers simplistic but nicely groovy songs with unpredictable twists, and with variation from simplistic hc-beating to more rocking and jazzy bits to heavier metal-churning. The songs are spiced with a few synth-notes, as well as a good amount of ethnic rhythms and percussions that make the band sound more original and even more diverse and out-of-control.

While the drums have a tad too soft sound and are too back in the mix to provide any strong rhythms for most of the time, the guitar has a rather angular and heavy sound (aside of the cleaner and lighter lead riffs) which gives it even too much weight and power to affect the songs' rhythms - and the bass guitar's strong pounding only amplifies the effect. So, the songs have two string instruments creating a ruggedly rhythmic backbone, on top of which some lighter elements, such as the leads, percussions and vocals, are added. Despite this balance keeping the whole vivid and in constant motion, it also eats away power from the additional instruments and parts with less in-your-face instrumentation, and overall lowers the compositions' power. The vocals are pretty loud in the mix, and together with their lumpy pronounciation they serve more as a burden that lowers the songs' energy than as a force that would push them further. They add a dose of healthy lunacy, especially so when noting the thought-flow lyrics, but could (and should) be employed to a lot greater effect.

The compositions are constantly changing, despite their seeming simplisticity and catchiness, and the band has taken their instruments to such extremes that the listener constantly gets thrown around right when s/he though s/he had got a grip of the band's expression. This one sentence pretty much summarizes the band's strenghts and weaknesses in one actually; they make intriquing and surprising music, but try pursuing all directions at once without too much thought for the big picture, the actual concentrated end result.

The music evokes a lot of emotions, all the way from joy to irritation - the latter not least due to the band's joke-ish attitude and humour. The group should focus on their vocal delivery and on finding a more suitable soundscape and overall way to deliver their songs in a less, say, overkill-attitude. They aim for too much with too little effort, which is a bit sad since they clearly have the requirements for much greater output. More focus, more effort and more eye for both detail and the greater whole is needed.

7 / 10