There's No Place Like Home
by Jason Hoffman
Not counting their early EP S*** Like A Champion, Corporate Circus have just released their second album. Packed with13 hyper-kinetic songs, There’s No Place Like Home exhibits a degree of professionalism and polish usually reserved for national releases.
While they label themselves as “punk rock,” my ears pick up alternative influences and a highly developed sense of melody not usually found in punk fodder. You have most likely heard “Fool’s Paradise,” which received heavy airplay on 102.3-FM. Exhibiting a catchy melody, buzzing guitars, and a dumpster’s worth of energy, it takes a major effort not to like this song.
“Hooray For School” finds Ryan Bettinger spouting forth sarcastic lyrics against a wall of Krokus-edged guitars provided by Jon Shoes and Corbin Arnett. More 80s influence is found in “Everyday,” which rockets through a metal introduction before bassist Josh Bloom leads the motley crew into a gutsy guitar riff section quite out of character for punk. The band exhibits their amazing technical skill in “What I Never Had,” which opens with a ferocious display of guitar mastery while Jeremy Isaacs pounds the skins with such insanity that I imagine he was about two inches off his stool while playing. Also getting a lot of airplay is “Disturbed,” a bouncy, gritty diatribe against small town America, a song that currently has plans to infect the musical mind of anyone who hears it.
True to the punk ethic, most of these songs hover around the three-minute mark. What I found particularly pleasing was that a number of songs open with well-written extended instrumental passages that provide a nice change from the usual song structure. Add to this the variety of song influences, from metal to hardcore to punk to pop, and you’ve got my attention.
I should have guessed this album was recorded by Tim Bushong of T.Bush Record Plant, the local master of capturing a band’s combustible energy. The guitar sounds are deadly and everything is amazingly well recorded and mixed — my hat, and toupee, are off to Mr. Bushong. These 45 minutes of screaming, energetic, melodic punk can be found at Karma Records, Wooden Nickel Music stores and Sam Goody.
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