From their bandcamp bio: ◯ isn´t just the letter. ◯ is the circle symbol, The Band got together with the aim to create spheric musical landscapes”. God damn is that not the most obnoxiously post-rock thing anyone has ever said or ever will say. Not only that, but apparently they are not truly a “band” but actually a “a collective group from the area around Aachen, Germany bordering Belgium and the Netherlands.”. God just imagine telling your friends “nah, my musical act doesn’t have a band name, we have a collective symbol. We make spherical music, call it circle rock.” Can’t wait for circle rock to take over the next wave of music memes when we get nostalgia for obscure music from the 2010s.
The funny thing as, as easy as it is to meme this album (and trust me, even without the name and description, this can definitely be memed quite easy), this is probably the album that best utilizes all of the ambient post-rock cliches to create something actually interesting. I’m not sure I could call the songs “spheric” in nature, but there is a certain weight to them that makes a very noticeable difference between the dead air and the active music peaks. Part of that however, lies some of the faults here. The first half in particular is much weaker and lighter than the second half, and although there are some good musical ideas, there are also some laughably bad decisions. Such as like, all of How Polished Boulders Carried Us Along. The track itself is kinda forgettable, except the entire thing is dragged along by this one fucking recording of this tiny kid talking about the meaning of the universe or some shit and how like, “we don’t know what’s out there man, no one knows what mankind’s destiny is maaan” and all I can think of is how this is totally something someone would put in an album if they thought The Book of Henry was a good movie.
Thankfully the title track and the closer I Offer My Hands to the Shades really put on the carry pants. They borders on atmo sludge at times, without ever truly feeling like metal or going overboard with the distortion. They also feel like the tracks where the contrast between the quite and loud are the greatest, which is also when I feel this album is at it’s strongest.
I personally really like that this feels way more like an ambient album with guitars than a post-rock album that’s really drawn out to be ambient. There’s tons of other albums in this sub-subgenre and a lot them really suck. When Plants Turn Into Stones sucks some of the least shit I’ve heard in all of them, but there’s too many moments where nothing’s going on in the first half for me to feeling 100% on board, even with all of it’s strengths towards the end.