A Perfect Circle, the hard-hitting art-rock brainchild of Billy Howerdel with lead vocals by Tool’s Maynard James Keenan, is back today with their first album in 14 years, Eat The Elephant. Fortunately for you, unlike Tool’s music, the new APC is available to stream.
The singles leading up to the album — “The Doomed,” “TalkTalk,” “Disillusioned,” “So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish” — have generally been softer and more meditative than the likes of “3 Libras” and “Weak And Powerless” even as they maintain Howerdel’s knack for high drama. Anything with Keenan’s voice on it will elicit a certain familiar thrill, but it’s couched in a far different context now. Some of A Perfect Circle’s music could have been mistaken for Tool at their most accessible; that won’t often be a problem here.
After so much time away, it’s perhaps not so surprising that Eat The Elephant represents a major leap from the dramatic guitar anthems A Perfect Circle made their name on. Still, the extent to which the album mutates their signature sound is somewhat startling. Between the sonic shift and Keenan’s loaded lyrics about various societal ills, it’s clear they’ve returned with a statement. Below, take it all in and let us know what you think.
Eat The Elephant is out today on BMG.