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P.O.D. | Circles | Vinyl

P.O.D. | Circles | Vinyl

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Ever since coming off indefinite hiatus with 2012's Murdered Love, Southern California's P.O.D. have issued a handful of albums that recapture the band's early punk, reggae, and metal-inspired energy. Arriving in 2018, Circles continues this revitalized trajectory with a set of tracks that feel loose and emotionally present, as if the bandmembers were still teenagers rocking out in their basement, and not industry veterans quickly approach their 30th anniversary. Aiding them this time out are producers Jason Bell and Jordan Miller, aka Heavy, who are smart enough to stay out of the band's way aside from some minor flourishes like subtle synth and backing vocals. Primarily, we get a swaggering, buoyantly emotive LP that pleasantly brings to mind the spirit of the band's forebears, including Bad Brains, Rage Against the Machine, and Suicidal Tendencies. Cuts like the bass-heavy opening salvo "Rockin' with the Best," the wild-eyed "Panic Attack," and the dreadlocked-head banger "Soundboy Killa" are immediately infectious anthems, rife with bright SoCal soul and swaggering hardcore energy. Elsewhere, they show their hard-won maturity, taking on prescription drug addiction on "Circles" and paying homage to their roots on "Always Southern California." Equally engaging is the punk hip-hop of "On the Radio," in which they reference Musical Youth's "Pass the Dutchie" with a pre-chorus of "Give me the music/Make me jump and thrash." Along with their influences, P.O.D.'s spirituality imbues much of the album. However, while their music is often blunt it its attack, their allusions to religion and faith have grown more nuanced. They draw upon Albert Brumley's classic hymn "I'll Fly Away" on the laid-back reggae tune "Fly Away," and ruminate with existential passion on the state of the world on "Dreaming," asking "What happens when religion won't do what's right?" Ultimately, Circles reveals a band of journeyman rasta-Christian-punks with enough history to ground them, just as they've managed to reignite their inner creative fire. As lead vocalist and MC Sonny Sandoval sings on the opening salvo "Rockin' with the Best," "All I need is a bassline/Feedback from a guitar, I'll dead 'em all with one rhyme." ~ Matt Collar

  • RSD Release Date: n/a
  • Format: Vinyl
  • Genre: Pop
  • Released: 11/16/2018





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