Russian Circles

Geneva (Suicide Squeeze)

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Russian Circles

Geneva (Suicide Squeeze)

Harder but with even more Explosions in the Sky-type finesse than last year's sophomore LP, Station, and yet unable to match the emotional and narrative wallop of still-best 2006 debut Enter, Chicago instrumentalists Russian Circles arrive at neutral ground with Geneva. Opener "Fathom," aria in one channel, subatomic bass burble in the other – all airborne guitar melodics in the center – acts as eerie intro to the gathering swarm of the title track. Drummer/leader Dave Turncrantz's cymbal beat and toms splay, roiling lithe and individual, segue into the stick play of the succeeding 7½-minute "Melee," an atmospheric proto-fugue featuring string quartet accents and a chiming interlude from guitarist Mike Sullivan. Quick-stepping drill bit "Malko" bursts into best instrumental title "When the Mountain Comes to Muhammad," moving prayer and propaganda rather than dirt and rock. Stringed sealant "Philos" tolls Friday Night Lights, wandering 10 minutes where the streets have no names. (Saturday, 3:35pm, Black Stage.)

**.5

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