Dumbo’s Circus

Elephant Room
Island Earth’s latest, like so much of their output, is either love or hate. Circus takes the Villebillies model to the next logical step. They trade much of the twang of their parent group for 808s and even some dubstep wobble at times, and in the end, Circus works. “Bump in the Night” is easily the best on the album, a darker and more tightly controlled concept than the reckless abandon of the album’s first half, and the sample from a 1950s PSA is perfect. The bare-bones kick drum and acoustic guitar bed of “Christine” works equally well, bringing a needed balance after the intensity of the clubtastic “Bangarang,” “Time Travelin” and Nappy Roots-featuring “Shit Talkin.” It won’t take long to decide if you’re in or out of this Circus, but it’s worth the price of admission to find out.