Although prone to lengthy hiatuses and sustained periods of inactivity (understandable given the band members involvement in a myriad of other projects, not least alt. rock legends, Tool), A Perfect Circle are perhaps one of the more widely recognized side-projects of the last couple of decades. Making their way into various horror and science fiction flicks, the five-piece deliver a starkly magnetic yet decidedly anguished sound which sees ‘best of’ compilation ‘Three Sixty’ an absorbing introduction to what is a strangely hypnotic but ultimately tuneful collection of career highlights.
Broodingly atmospheric, choice cuts from debut album ‘Mer De Noms’ are as engaging, and indeed contemporary sounding, as they were thirteen years hence. Opener, ‘The Hollow’, marries an undulating foreboding with an explosive chorus, yet the bile fueled stomp of ‘Judith’ steals the summit with its scream along hooks and arresting guitar work.
Smash single, ‘The Outsider’, is as vital as ever, benchmarking sophomore record ‘Thirteen Steps’ and evolving from downbeat meandering to wide-eyed aggression, yet elsewhere seething ballad ‘Blue’ and a haunting ‘The Package’ impress just as thoroughly. Rounded off by some fantastic covers, most notably of John Lennon vintage ‘Imagine’ and blues standard ‘When The Levee Breaks’ (best known from the reworked Led Zeppelin adaptation), ‘Three Sixty’ ensures that all bases are covered.
Although somewhat flawless for those looking for an opening into A Perfect Circle‘s vast dynamic explorations, it’s perhaps the appearance of progressively leaning new track ‘By And Down’ that will set most astir. In this sense, ‘Three Sixty’ surpasses many ‘greatest hits’ releases in that, not only does it represent the band’s exceptional past, but also a potentially exciting future.
Written by Tony Bliss