Circolo Vizioso, 'Verrueckt'

Circolo Vizioso (or Vicious Circle)

A lot of great things happened during the pandemic. You've heard a lot about artists using that time to create with Circolo Vizioso being among them. Their debut EP, aptly named, Isolation, was released towards the end of 2020, a year that opened up with a worldwide pandemic lockdown no one saw coming. Tony Scafidi (Italy) and Paul Geigerzaehler (Germany), formed Circolo Vizioso that March with Kris Youakim (Canada).

With their second release, Verrueckt, the main duo Scafidi and Geigerzaehler give us six stripped-down tracks about disaffection in an unfair world. 


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The Meaning Behind Circolo Vizioso's Verrueckt



From Paul Geigerzaehler:

"We wanted to make an album that could express anger, frustration, and disaffection against an unfair world and all the discomfort entwined therein. And we wanted to do it with direct and bare lyrics abrasive violin lines, fat distorted guitar solos, and big fuzzy riffs. Yet we wanted people to let go of this batshit crazy world in a sort of self-exorcising dance, where one can go to sleep with the illusion of having sweat their demons off at least for the night."

The album title, Verrueckt, translates to "crazy". The title track asks, "Is it crazy to be so normal?" In these times it would appear so. Many of us feel as if the people we've been all of our lives is no longer acceptable, or that we're the odd ones. Many people can relate to this and therefore connect with the track. If the album is a full six tracks of "crazy", then what are the other types of insanity we can expect to encounter? 

"Choppy" could be addressing chemical depression where the person acknowledges good things around them but doesn't feel any better. Would that be a form of crazy? That one recognizes that they're not feeling as they should feel under certain circumstances is a good sign. There are some foundational problems in having control over how you should feel is a hint that you know where that floor is. "Walls" are coming down with a comparison to Russia's division of Berlin. The wall came down then and people were unified. Now, it happens again but instead of people on the streets gathering to protest against privatization of healthcare, people are unified for Putin and are not against the war in Ukraine. This song also has a stronger visual approach than the other tracks where I could see the walls of their room coming down perhaps as Russia's missiles hit their buildings or, the visuals of destruction that they leave behind.





In "Stein" (stone), they wish that they were made from or were entirely different types of stone so that they could at least be useful. They could become glass or be constructed as part of a road. They could be used as soil for burial or simply be a stone that could be somewhere, perhaps a park where they could listen to people talk. To give up the burden of being human could be if put to practice, a downward spiral to insanity. Just think of the movies where mental patients act like they are someone or something else. 

When we get to "Wer schuld ist" (Who Is To Blame), we see those with Southern flags or the right-wing mobs, supporting political violence and then turning around and blaming Antifa. If you never knew that Kill Bill was about killing Bill then you wouldn't know that Antifa is short for anti-fascist. If you're targeting Antifa then it's perhaps because you are the fascist they are against. To believe otherwise is just insane. The album closes with "Haeuser" which simply states, "Our Houses will stick together, our Houses will fight forever! Straight like an arrow in the system's lynchpin."

The Musical Impact Of Circolo Vizioso's Verrueckt

Circolo Vizioso's other half, Tony Scafidi has this to say about their approach to this album:

"On 'Verrückt', we wanted to stretch the potential of the bass drum, the high hat, the snare, and the tambourine to the utmost. As two people having to sing, play guitar, and violin and drums at the same time makes it challenging to come up with refined and intricate drumming. But it does give us an interesting opportunity to exert a furious, instinctively ancestral, and liberating beat on a few drums."

Compared to Isolation, this album sounds less melodic or pop-structured. These songs come across more aggressively in that you're forced to focus on the punk rock fury. The "instinctively ancestral, and liberating beat of the drums" is prominent for this music to work and to make the right impact. Verrueckt and Isolation and both very different-sounding albums and are also produced to fit their message. With Isolation, the production makes it more inviting whereas with Verrueckt, it's saying "stand back!" 

For me, punk music in German, to the person who doesn't know it, always hits the mark. The lyrics don't hide in the abstract and are pretty direct in their meaning. No one gets lost looking to gain a better footing with these songs.

Circolo Vizioso

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