IT’S BRUTAL. IT’S HEAVY. IT’S GOOD. Caspian and Circle Takes the Square | Post Punks finest


Music tends to be a reflection of where a musician lives or where they have been. After Circle Takes The Square at the Rickshaw Stop this past Wednesday night, I get the impression Savannah, Georgia must be the most brutal, passionate and beautiful place on the planet. The three piece, consisting of Drew Speziale (vocals/guitar), Kathleen Stubelek (vocals/bass) and Caleb Collins (vocals/drums) brought an energy from another dimension. They are craft masters, with each song composed dense with flawless musicianship and with every member of the audience attached to each shriek, growl and scream the band spilled from their hearts. With no words decipherable their howls become another instrumentation. Wikipedia names them as the reinvention of Screamo. Unsigned by choice, Circle Takes The Square describes them selves as  “a punk band with reverence for the mystery”, accurate yet so much more and certainly not a mainstreamers cup of tea. By the time the band played their final note I was convinced Caspian didn’t have a chance.

I was wrong.
The Beverly, Massachusetts post-rock pioneers, who dwarf the audience with their presence and sound, put on a display of sonic superiority. Their mammoth all-instrumental songs ushered the audience through oceans, mountains, deserts, colors, tastes and feelings. Each song portrayed a vast dynamic range of emotions that can only be compared to the human experience. The five piece — who hadn’t played San Francisco in over three years, and weathered the sudden death of bassist Chris Friedrich in 2013 —  went through an extended set featuring tracks from all of their releases including their newest record Dust and Disquiet on Triple Crown Recordings. The set ended on the stroke of midnight with both bands on stage in an epic drum jam to the distinguished track “Sycamore” that you can watch here.

Needless to say, the show was sold out and packed to the brim.

Circle Takes the Square has a new album out that has been 8 years in the making. Physical copies have sold out but they have a name-your-own-price digital download option here.

written by Emmanuel Castro
photos/video by Victoria Smith