Music Review

Cigarettes For Breakfast – Join The Circus

todayJuly 20, 2023 107

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By – Jason Hamric

For fans of MBV, Medicine, Darling Buds and swirling loud guitars 

Shoegaze was my first adult musical addiction.  Sure I loved The Beatles and all of the stuff you hear as a child, but this was a musical movement by people that were my age and looked like me.  I related to what (I thought) they were saying and THE GUITARS!  It was loud and aggressive, but swirly and beautiful at the same time.  It touched on something that opened up the dopamine reserves and to this day is my favorite drug.  Today there are probably more shoegaze bands than there were in the actual 90’s, and a lot of them are great!  Join The Circus, the new album by Cigarettes For Breakfast however hits a new high water mark in today’s shoegaze.

Cigarettes For Breakfast, the brainchild of multi instrumentalist Matt Whiteford, formed in Philadelphia in 2019 and manages to live in that hard to find area of having influences and wearing them on your sleeve.  From the very first track UP, you know you are going to enjoy the ride.  Half Brad Laner half jet plane, the shimmering, distorted, treble blasting guitars immediately suck you in to that new modern shoegaze sound.  This fires straight into the album’s title track.  Join The Circus begins with soft pulsing tremolo then straight into a quiet/loud/quiet masterclass.  It’s wonder this was also picked as the first single.  From there the album maintains it’s relentless assault on your ears while sucking you in even further with its haunting melodies.  Although Join In The Circus wraps up with Everything’s Alright, which is actually a short minute long outro instrumental track, the real Closer is the previous track Pretend.  A slow, heavy duet that eventually devolves into a buried voice that somehow drop you further into you trance.  Yes, it’s obvious Cigarettes For Breakfast has influences based in several of the great shoegaze bands of the last few decades, but they manage to not be just another carbon copy.  They have their own voice and own original take.  

Cigarettes For Breakfast releases Join The Circus today and is available through the band’s site or record store near you.  They are currently playing live to support the record.  The band’s lineup has evolved over time, with Whiteford and drummer Tony Rossi serving as the only constant members since the beginning, but vocalist Donnie Coco will still be featured on the album, lending their haunting vocals to several tracks.   Cigarettes For Breakfast releases Join The Circus today and is available through the bands site or a record store near you.  Adding bassist Martin Buechler, They are currently playing select venues to support the new record.  

Available From Cigarettes For Breakfast or at a record store near you, and in Birmingham only at Seasick Records

Written by: jamric

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