There’s something tricky about Pinhead Circus. Their songs have a way of creeping into my brain. More than once, I’ve been singing along with a Pinhead Circus song and someone has walked into the room and said, “What are you listening to?” and I was stumped. I’ll wake up in the morning with a Pinhead Circus riff on auto-repeat in my head and I can’t, for the life of me, place the song. Then, gradually, the album grows on me. It reaches high rotation and I have to be careful not to play it too often. It’s strange. “The Black Power of Romance,” like all their other albums, filled me with apathy at first, then wiggled itself up there with my favorite albums. I think it has something to do with the way that Pinhead Circus can put together a song that sounds like no other band, but is vaguely recognizable pieces – a riff that almost sounds like Good Riddance, a tempo change that’s almost like Tiltwheel, drums filling in like Youth Brigade, and so on. Which isn’t to say that they’re completely referential. They’re not. They’re a pretty original band that write solid, catchy songs. You just have to give them a few listens to creep up on you.