“you tell me i’m not enough. but i’m the amazing monstrous grady.”
The debut CIRCU5 album is by British multi-instrumentalist and session musician, Steve Tilling, who handled almost all instruments and vocal duties. It features guest performances from Dave Gregory (XTC, Big Big Train), Phil Spalding (Mike Oldfield), Matt Backer (ABC, Julian Lennon), Alan van Kleef (Ariel X), Johnny Warman (Ringo Starr) and Andy Neve (Steve Hackett).
Songs like My Degenerate Mind, Stars and Blame It On Me recall Foo Fighters and Queens of the Stone Age at their snarling best. Elements of the five-part prog epic The Chosen One evoke King Crimson, Rush and Yes.
Meanwhile, tracks such as Coming Home, Strings, and The Chosen One - Baptism and Ascension drawn comparisons to Jethro Tull, Radiohead, Jellyfish and Nick Drake. Space-rock conjuring Hawkwind gets a look in with the apocalyptic Days Erased. And funk grooves reminiscent of King's X feature in The Amazing Monstrous Grady.
The album's story traces the life of a child raised as a psychopath in a secret government organisation, which aims to cure the condition while harnessing positive traits for certain roles. The character discovers the truth as a dysfunctional adult – with catastrophic consequences.
"The album mirrors the ups and downs in my life while making it," says Steve Tilling. "There were dark times, but everything ended positively. I wanted to make an album that's fun to listen to but has a good story for those who like to dig deeper."