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The one and only - 100%

hirnlego, January 24th, 2007

It all began in 1994, when I came across the predecessor to this masterpiece. That encounter changed something in my perception of heavy music. This was the sound of early Black Sabbath transformed directly into its Nineties manifestation. And two years later, things even got better, before they got worse (band-split).

'...And the Circus leaves town' is Kyuss' swansong, and if I had to choose, THE heavy album to be taken on a desert island (including of course a powerful stereo system and electric power...) and thus deserving the 100% rating. Compared to the eponymous album, it might take a bit longer with this one to get into it, as the music is - let me put it that way: more relaxed than the old stuff.

However, things do start heavy, but not perfect with the opener 'Hurricane' - a rather common piece of music, steady but not extraordinary. Things get different with 'One Inch Man', the 'hit' of the album, which got some airplay on MTV. The unconventional riff, interrupted by shrieking sounds are literally creeping into ones head.
Another positive development on this album is the balance between the (semi)acoustic / calm parts and the heavy and driving ones. The best examples might be 'Phototropic' and 'El Rodeo', both starting quite gentle and developing towards thunderous climaxes. 'Catamaran' and 'Size Queen' mix smooth verses with powerful choruses.
Noteworthy as well the song titles, 'Thee of Boozeroony' and 'Jumbo Blimp Jumbo' being chosen for the instrumentals.

The very end, and what a worthy end it is, is represented by the epic 'Spaceship Landing', my most favourite track on my most favourite album, and yet so hard to describe. This piece is best enjoyed with eyes closed on endless repeat (unfortunately the song is 11 min long and followed by 20 min of hidden track...)

'...and the circus leaves town' was the most elegant, the heaviest but not loudest, the most fascinating piece of Rock'n'Roll ever made, and it's a pity that this unique band broke up at the zenith of their creativity - and maybe on the verge of stardom (And damn, I already had the ticket to a concert when they split 2 weeks before).