Circus of Power Vices, which I remember getting delivered on a sunny day in 1990, is a good LP. Their debut LP, was a mean street-punk-hard rock affair but in this one they cut loose with a down and dirty collection of Southern-tinged tunes. Overall it sounds like the mutant offspring of the Cult and a much heavier Rolling Stones.
I bought this because I liked their first LP and because not many knew about them I wanted to be the first person I knew to get into them. My girlfriend and I did have a lot of time for this LP. The song writing isn’t uniformly good, the two that sound the most like the Rolling Stones, ‘Don’t Drag me Down’ and ‘Got Hard…’ aren’t very memorable, but the gnarlier tracks like ‘Gates of Love’, Doctor Potion’ and ‘Vices’ really do hit their marks. At their best they do evoke grimy, bare-knuckle drinking dens just off the Bayou*. They get bonus points for looking like a band who could definitely handle themselves if it came to a good punch-up and double bonus points for each song having its own little picture on the inner sleeve.
Circus of Power seemed to just fade away after this LP, to my knowledge they never toured the UK after this LP. It’s a shame, as at their best they were very good.
* Having never been south of New York my ‘knowledge’ of the southern states is solely based on William Faulkner, various Dr John, ZZ Top and Lynyrd Syknyrd LPs, together with Mississippi Burning, Friday Night Lights, To Kill a Mockingbird, Dazed and Confused and In the Heat of the Night – so I accept its probably not the most accurate reflection…