A horrible hack

Bread & Circuits


Year Released: 1999
Format: LP
Label: Ebullition
Reviewed by Andy Malcolm on Jun 13, 2007
My favourite hardcore band ever changed their name, replaced 2 people with 3, and got it together once more for 8 tracks of face pulping, 45rpm-ed, grey cell exercising 'core. For the record, this is Torches to Rome II, and Kirsch is back as a member of an all-star group featuring Palafox of Swing Kids, Mag of Yaphet Kotto, and Chuck Shackelford who may or may not be an ex-member of some vital band. And now that those Hot Water Music pansies decided that having stubble was cooler than real beards, Kirsch rules the punk rock facial hair world alone.

Whilst this is a great and essential record, it doesn't quite knock me off my feet in the way Torches to Rome did when I first heard them. I guess it's because I'm familiar with the style now. It's not brand new, but it still excites and invigorates. Fly by the seat of your pants whilst listening to B&C's brand of chaotic, frenzied, barrage of emotional hardcore which tenatively maintains the glimmer of melody. Every now and again they don't hurtle off at 100mph, the intro to the song "Bread and Circuits" (why does Mike always have a song with the band name in the title?) is very similar to a 12 Hour Turn track. Then it kicks off anyway. Over the noisy backdrop, Kirsch snarls and spits out intelligent political / personal lyrics in the same style as he did with Torches, backed up with yells from Shackelford. -- "the devils may never own me...but sometimes they pay the rent" -- Stand out songs for me are the initially calm yet soon to be spiralling out of control "Statute of Limitations" and it's polar opposite, "Bretton Woods" which ignites and explodes from the get go with dangerous intensity. Definitely up there with "The Guards Are Itchy". -- "We failed to recognize, the devils digitised the conversation"

And finally, the reason why vinyl will always totally rule the feeble CD - the giant 20 page A4 sized booklet that is packaged in here. It's packed with interesting pictures, the essential lyrics, and other thought-provoking quotes.

A record to inspire and immerse yourself in. It's Kirsch, it's Ebullition. You don't need any more excuse.

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