Those who haven’t heard You Break, You Buy, an instrumental math rock band with alternative subtleties, are in for a real treat. Their second EP release, Don’t Join the Circus, is an impressive, stylistic effort that has plenty of technical ability coupled with strong melodies, and the combination of mathy time signatures with a strong indie sound is really unique and one-of-a-kind.
What you’re bound to notice right away about Don’t Join the Circus is the blistering guitar lines: the swirling melodies and busy lead lines of the guitar is the bread and butter of the record, as every song on the EP features a plethora of tasty guitar taps, picks and sweeps, while drums and bass try to anchor the ever-changing time signatures. There are plenty of unique elements housed within every song’s sound to make them interesting, and there’s always something to hang onto for every song, whether it be a cool guitar line, or an unusual string of time changes.
As a whole, Don’t Join the Circus features a collection of incredibly strong songs. “Neighsayer,” “Infinity Coats” and “Fox Feeder” are more upbeat songs that have a strong drive through-out, while “All Together Better,” which includes guest vocalist Declan Feenan, short “Into the Clouds” and closing “Manual of Horsemanship” are more mid-tempo and rely on their enveloping melodic settings.
The main highlight that many are sure to find with Don’t Join the Circus, is that although it’s a technically demanding release, it still remains to be quite accessible, what was one of the goals by the band members. On moments crazy drumming and guitar noodling sound coherent, and the sweet-natured alternative rock pieces come to grow on you. There are plenty of subtle variations to be found in each song that listeners can pick up on after a handful of listens, but it takes times to notice them.
Overall, Don’t Join the Circus is an impressive effort with a unique style and sound. Fans of technical guitar lines, mathy structures and passionate alt rock melodies will have a lot to sink their teeth into. With plenty of the subtle melodies and progressions that shine through after several hearings, this band is definitely one of the most artistic groups that have come around in a while, and it will be interesting to see how You Break, You Buy evolve their sound for their upcoming third EP.
Don’t Join the Circus is available from Bandcamp as digital download and 12” black vinyl housed in a white inner sleeve which comes with the album credits insert. For photo gallery see below.