Juggling Prayers - Circus Chaplains (Circus Chaplains)
Classic release from a Sydney band. Also a classic example of a band pulling in multiple different directions, which makes for a broader variety of approaches to their songs.
We’ve all seen bands where this doesn’t work - because it’s damned hard to juggle everyone’s creative juices - but with “Juggling Prayers” we have one of those fine CDs which, once it’s finished and begins to replay, you don’t turn off, you just let it repeat.
And “Juggling Prayers” is a delight to hear over and over because you experience the progression of where the songs are going, not just the same old similar-sounding stuff. It’s like they understand why they loved their influences here: hardly any band really comprehend this aspect of themselves.
There’s seven songs here, so I suppose we’re looking at the old-fashioned mini-LP in vinyl terms. Some of you readers will recognise certain stylistic hallmarks, typically “Australian rock in the late ‘70s to mid-‘80s’ - a time when there were so many bands mining a seam long presumed mined out, dormant, or dissipated. I mean, it’s 2016, surely everything in that area has long been sucked up and polished into thousands of wedding rings?
But no. See here, oldsters, the Circus Chaplains have come along and, with considerable panache, shove these seven quite different songs at us, bang, crash, mayhem. Just the way it should be. A couple of the songs are clearly the sound of a band developing a newly discovered seam, further along a forgotten or neglected tunnel. I have my favourites, you’ll have yours.
Part of the fun is the order of where each song appears and you’ll see why once you hit the third song, “I Don’t Know”. The next two, “I Can’t Believe It” and “You Go Down” take us further along the road than I’d expected. By the time we reach number seven ‘Tonight’ we’re so onside we’re thirsty for more: and when track one, ‘Fake’ turns up again, it’s as natural as going out and having a rip-roaring time should be.