Circus of Power

Circus of Power

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During the late '80s, Circus of Power led the New York sleaze rock pack. The problem is that all the genre's action was happening on the West Coast. L.A. Guns and Faster Pussycat were sopping up whatever grimy leftovers that Guns N' Roses and Mötley Crüe were leaving behind, and L.A. bands also dominated the rest of the country's underground glam scene. If you really wanted to make gutter rock, L.A. was Mecca, and to practice it anywhere else meant your heart (and home) really wasn't in the right place. Considering this, it isn't surprising that Circus of Power's sleazy, but distinctly New York tough-guy attitude didn't generally impress the sizable American glam/sleaze audiences of the times. The band were definitely embarking on an uphill climb (considering their distant proximity to the post-glam epicenter) and their generally unremarkable songwriting did nothing to lighten the load. Singer Alex Mitchell's Ian Astbury-influenced vocal style is a refreshing change of pace when compared to the whimpering tunelessness of many similar band's frontmen, but that's about all these guys had going for them. Joining Mitchell on this 1988 RCA debut were Ryan Maher on drums, guitarist Rickey Beck Maler, and bassist Gary Sunshine. Together, the musicians of Circus of Power offer few memorable riffs or rhythmic energy to support Mitchell's vocal swagger, and the lyrics never reach beyond the standard hard-drinking, goofy sexualized imagery of standard sleaze rock. During bright spots like "In the Wind" and "Machine" the band establishes some live-fast-die-young momentum, but there are too many forgettable songs on Circus of Power to warrant any kind of recommendation.

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