Circus of Dead Squirrels - _The Pop Culture Massacre and the End of the World Sing-A-Long Songbook_
(ForaNation, 2007)
by: Quentin Kalis (6.5 out of 10)
Circus of Dead Squirrels do not take themselves too seriously, if the band name and album title can be regarded as a reliable indicator. Musically, there's a lot to make metal purists throw up their hands in despair, as the Squirrels remain resolutely part of the nu-skool; so if a mélange of metalcore / nu-metal / industrial metal with a touch of rap does not appeal to you, best move on to the next review. Whilst some might argue that they are a part of the of the consumerist culture they deride, the mere fact that the tools of the enemy have been appropriated does not mean that they become the enemy.

The lyrical focus is on socio-political commentary, on the many malaise to plague the Western world, but without the anus clenching seriousness of Rage Against the Machine. Nor do they possess the crude yet insightful tone of the Dead Kennedys, although they do have a similar sense of warped humour -- evident most from the outlandish booklet cartoons featuring the bushy tailed vermin in a variety of guises. My personal favourite features the cutesy rat as guillotiner, about to execute a hapless Elmo whilst Big Bird and his crew look on with bloodlust in their eyes.

As much as there is a crying need for something new from the mainstream metal sounds, their cornucopia of effects has more than a touch of the kitchen sink approach, and their nu-skool eclecticism would benefit from a greater degree of coherency.


(article published 4/7/2007)

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