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All Music Guide:
Although it would be easy to dismiss Circus Devils as just another indie project by Guided by Voices founder Robert Pollard, the band encompasses a different form of musical exploration altogether, and dismisses the styles of his solo endeavors for a more ominous and nightmarish tone exploring the themes of good and evil. According to the group's whimsical website bio, Circus Devils formed because a dog-faced man approached each member on separate occasions to deliver the message, "Circus Devils is Real." Like this story, their lyrics are often unsettling fictional tales of horror delivered within deconstructed rock operas. In 2001, Pollard met with producer Todd Tobias and Todd's brother Tim Tobias, who had been playing bass for GBV since 1999. The trio decided to start recording under the moniker Circus Devils, and collaborated to create the album Ringworm Interiors, which was finished in 2001. Tim and Todd split the musical duties (Tim focusing on guitar layering, and Todd working the recording console and bass), building atmospheric tension while Pollard delivered his sinister and wry vocals. In 2002 the band released its second LP, The Harold Pig Memorial, a slightly less abstract concept album about the memorial service of an L.A. biker. The ambitious two-part rock opera Pinball Mars followed in 2004, and the successive year brought forth the difficult ambient prog album Five. In 2007, after signing to Mike Patton's haven for off-kilter musical projects, Ipecac, the label released their most straightforward record to date, Sgt. Disco.
Circus Devils is an American experimental rock band founded in 2001 by Robert Pollard. Pollard is best known as the lead singer and songwriter of the Dayton, Ohio band Guided by Voices. Circus Devils members include Robert Pollard (vocals and lyrics), Todd Tobias (music and production), and Tim Tobias (music).
Circus Devils employs a wide spectrum of musical styles ranging from acid rock to ambient soundscapes.
Circus Devils was originally conceived in 2001 as a side project to Robert Pollard's main work with Guided by Voices. Beginning with the release of their first album, Ringworm Interiors, Circus Devils dismissed the styles of Pollard's other musical endeavors for a more experimental approach, taking an ominous and nightmarish tone, exploring the themes of good and evil. According to the group's whimsical website bio, Circus Devils formed because a dog-faced man approached each member on separate occasions to deliver the message, "Circus Devils is Real." . Like this story, their lyrics are often unsettling fictional tales of horror delivered within deconstructed rock operas. Each Circus Devils album is distinguished by a theme, concept, or production style which sets it apart from the band's other albums.
In 2007, the band's 5th album Sgt. Disco was released on Mike Patton's Ipecac Recordings record label.