After years of hiatus, Circulatory System reunited to release a 17-track album, Signal Morning, on Sept. 8 with frontman Will Cullen Hart's record company Cloud Recordings.
In their second full-length album, Circulatory System keeps its faith to vintage style psychedelic rock and the Elephant 6 Collective, including its fellow Athens, Ga. bigwigs Jeff Magnum and Julian Koster of Neutral Milk Hotel. Alongside Hart play members of The Olivia Tremor Control and the album's sheer volume of contributors not just exclusively involved in Circulatory System creates a dense, fuzzy sound.
Signal Morning blends hours of samples of Hart's work rather seamlessly although there is a definite battle between lyrics and synthesized instrumentals. Heavily influenced by most of the bands stead with The Olivia Tremor Control, Signal Morning captivates with booming drums and preponderate buzzing guitars. The first half of the album, including tracks such as "Woodpecker Greeting Worker Ant" and "This Morning," contains a bass with an influencing rhythm.
This textured noise is contrasted with a more lyrical style later on, something more associated with Robert Schneider's bubbly pop song writing for Apples in Stereo, an Elephant 6 Records band who came to Geneseo for Springfest 2009.
In "Solid Forms of Dissolving" floating lyrics are tied down with various strings, a much cleaner sound than earlier in the record. The song, the album's longest, is thickly influenced by Electric Light Orchestra and other '70s symphonic rock groups.
Though many associate Elephant 6 Collective groups to be of great influence to '90s and contemporary indie bands, Signal Morning has a seemingly unique style. Unlike Apples in Stereo's obsession with early Beatles' classics, Circulatory System's tributes to John Lennon reside in their later more psychedelically influenced albums. "The Breathing Universe" contains lyrics that could easily be set in an earlier period of rock's history, and is accompanied with a more acoustic sound.
Another Beatles-esque song, "The Spinning Continuous," shows one of the two themes dispersed through the album: the cyclic nature of time and radio/frequency signals; The latter of which explains the title and bordering-maniacal amount of voice recordings in backgrounds of tracks. The song's cyclic nature is found through several lines of lyrics repeated throughout the track.
The very tone and nature of this album makes a curious connection to Hart's own life. After being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, he was forced to postpone his work. In an interview with National Public Radio, Hart said that, "this is the happiest I've ever been in my life, honestly. It's really cool. [Multiple sclerosis] is just a minor inconvenience now. I'm really excited. I like to play live now. We're going to keep working."
Circulatory will be playing live at Geneseo in the Union Plaza on Sept. 15.