Russian Circles is a three piece instrumental band from Chicago, Illinois.
They were formed in late 2004 by guitarist Mike Sullivan and bassist Colin DeKuiper, both ex-members of instrumental band dakota/dakota.
Drummer Dave Turncrantz, ex-member of Riddle Of Steel, joined soon after.
They self-released a 4 track CD-EP and signed with Flameshovel (US) and Black Records (UK) for their first full length on CD and to Hewhocorrupts (US) and Friction Records (GER) for the vinyl.
Another limited 7″ came out on Suicide Squeeze. In the autumn of 2007, it was announced that the band had parted ways with Colin DeKuiper. As a result, the bass tracks on their second album, titled Station, were handled by ex-Botch/These Arms Are Snakes bass player Brian Cook (2), who then joined the band permanently. The group’s third full-length, Geneva, was released on October 20, 2009 and reached No. 24 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart.
In 2011, Russian Circles signed to Sargent House who had previously only exclusively released the band’s albums on limited edition vinyl. Their fourth studio album Empros was released on October 25, 2011. A supporting tour with Deafheaven followed the release. In May, 2013 the group began recording their fifth studio album, produced by Brandon Curtis. Memorial was released at the end of October 2013 and featured a guest-vocal by Chelsea Wolfe. Together they embarked on a co-headlining UK/European tour in the fall.
Russian Circles released its sixth studio album Guidance on August 5, 2016 through Sargent House. The album was produced by Kurt Ballou of Converge fame. In 2019, the band announced that they had begun writing on their seventh album to follow up their previous effort, Guidance. In May 2019, the name of the seventh album was revealed to be ‘Blood Year’ and would be released on August 2, 2019.
Seattle three-piece Helms Alee has announced a new album Keep This Be The Way available April 29th via Sargent House. Across the span of their first five studio albums, the trio zeroed in on different aspects of their sound – a blend of lilting siren songs, crushing Northwest thunder and sludge, angular econo-rock, and heady guitar pop.
But with this Helms Alee have expanded their palette by delving into the production possibilities afforded by recording the album themselves, creating their most dynamic and technicolored work to date. This new approach is immediately evident on first single and album opener “See Sights Smell Smells,” where reverse cymbal crashes, fragmented piano, layered drums, woozy drones, saxophone freak-outs, and trippy vocal treatments transport the listener to an altered state of exhilarated anticipation. The song is accompanied by a video created by Allen Watke whose video art consists primarily of analog equipment with an emphasis on VHS dubbing, glitching & manipulation.
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