Eur(elle): Dark Chromatic review – Mixed fare from Empire Circus member
A recent hiccup at Dublin Airport’s US preclearance prompted alt-rockers Empire Circus to go on hiatus. That downtime enabled bassist Neil Eurelle to revisit stems of songs which, for one reason or another, didn’t fit within the band’s canon. Thus leading to eur(elle), the vessel upon which these demos have taken flight. Dark Chromatic, the debut collection of solo material from Eurelle, is a varied moodboard of his taste.
We’re presented with a number of highly ambitious arrangements; some with their sights set on arenas filled to capacity with crowds flaunting their best air-guitar choreography to classic rock numbers – Illuminum and Team in particular.
These displays of bombast are contrasted with the spacious instrumentation on the titular track, which heralds a strong resemblance to Bon Iver’s recent output. Elsewhere, Run’s icy synth evokes the chill of Sigur Rós’s distinct ambience. Lyrically, eur(elle) falls to clichéd phrasing; “I make my dreams reality,” he sings on the Villagers-like Good Conscience.
With the re-emergence of Empire Circus earlier this year, it’s apparent that Eurelle’s ideas are best realised with a little help from his bandmates.