The View - Bread & Circuses

Crammed full of heart and lung bursting anthems.

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Crammed full of heart and lung bursting anthems. | By Greg Inglis | Rating: 4
The View - Bread & Circuses

With their barely disguised reputation for excess it’s genuinely perplexing that the Scottish quartet have even made it to album number three. After the ramshackle brilliance of their debut, 'Which Bitch' felt like somewhat of a step backward and this latest long player sees a change at the production helm with Youth (The Verve) replacing the erstwhile Owen Morris. Under his guidance the songs are infinitely tighter and more accessible, Falconer’s trademark Paisley drawl replaced by a cleaner more enunciated vocal whilst the running time has been shaved to great effect.

From the driving melody of 'Grace' to euphoric closer 'The Best Lasts Forever' the ride is a consistently thrilling one. You will struggle to find a more instant track in their repertoire than the jaunty 'Underneath The Lights' whilst 'Tragic Magic' brilliantly chronicles that feeling of not being able to see anything in a positive light. It sees Falconer at his most melancholic over a gorgeous melody and lyrics that could have been torn straight from the very scrapbook of messers Marr & Morrissey. 

It would be easy to reel off song after song and dissect their individual qualities but 'Life’’ is the standout track for me, a tender string drenched ballad that shows a new found tender side to everyone’s favourite rabble rousers. There is also real diversity to be found as sidesteps into Krautrock and even disco prove themselves adaptable to the challenge of embracing previously un-chartered musical territory.

'Bread & Circuses' is a storming return from the lads and re-establishes them as one of the UK’s foremost home-grown bands. Witty, poignant and crammed full of heart and lung bursting anthems, this deserves to succeed.'