NONE other than Stephen Hawking once pointed out that for every equation he put in his books destined for the populist market, the potential audience was immediately cut in half.

I fear that the word ‘progressive’ has the same effect on a rock music buying audience. But if the word conjures thoughts of keyboard-playing wizards writing musicals about the formation of the League of Nations to be performed on roller skates, then CIRCU5 is just what you need to set the record straight.

So it is an album with a progressive head but an alt-rock heart, more often found in similar sonic territory to the likes of Foo Fighters and QOTSA, and whilst CIRCU5 does follow a narrative, it is less a concept album than an album of concepts, ones which explore nurture vs. nature, dysfunction and relationships in a poetic and literate way.

Multi-instrumentalist Steve has spent five years putting this album together with the help of a number of recognisable names such as Phil Spalding, Dave Gregory, Johnny Warman and more and the result is a cerebral take on rock music. One which plays both to the rock ‘n’ roll gallery’s love of the genres basic, visceral and powerful elements but also gratifyingly delivers something new, intriguing and challenging from its lyrical depths and musical textures with every play. Rock music with a PhD in psychology? Why not? - Dave Franklin