Circle X "S/T" LP
Side A: Tender, Albeit Living
Side B: Onward Christian Soldiers, Underworld
Formed 1978 in New York, Circle X was born out of the ashes of No Fun and the I-Holes as Louisville’s first punk rock band.
Once the lineup of Circle X solidified, the formerly-punk band lunged headfirst into weirder, artier territory. Whether the big city’s burgeoning No Wave scene influenced Circle X or they influenced the scene is unclear; what is clear, though, is that Circle X was the most unique, most mysterious, and most un-heralded band hailing from that place and time.
In France for nine months with new manager Bernard Zekri, Circle X toured from their base in Dijon, garnering strong press and stronger public reaction while writing new material as they went. An untitled four-song EP saw the light of day in 1979.
That untitled 12-inch debut was practically without antecedent. It’s a lurching, squalling monster. Identified only by a symbol on the cover (a spray-painted circle with an "X" through it; the spelled-out name first appeared in '83), it pits Pinotti's screeched vocals against Witsiepe and the Letendres' bass-less, barely contained distorto-blare. The hatred and rage on this thing is palpable and when it coalesces perfectly with the music, as it does on the lead track, Tender, it’s pretty damn effective. Nothing sounded like this in 1979.
They arrived in New York at the tail end of No Wave, at the same time that equally ornery bands like Swans and Sonic Youth were getting revved up. Circle X are every bit as distinctive and attitudinal as Throbbing Gristle, PiL, Theoretical Girls, DNA, or Mars, yet they don't much sound like any of them.
We proudly represent this masterpiece after thirty years again for the public. It has lost none of its intensity and rage. Limited to 500 copies, it’s on 180 gram vinyl in tip-on jackets that bear the original artwork plus liner notes.