Album Review – Kerosene Circuit: EP

Kerosene Circuit

The romance of the long-haul trucker is born in the dust and roar of the engine and the kerosene smell of diesel fuel. The bleary hypnosis from the engine’s roaring roadsong, the buzzy florescent refuge of the 24-hour truckstop, faded coffee rings on the driver’s daily log books, permanent grease lodged in the cracks of the hands and under the nails—they’re all part of driving tens of tons of hurtling steel and rubber down the highway to deliver the parcel and complete the wheel of commerce.

Touring these same interstates and truckstops are our nation’s hard-working bar bands. The buzz and feedback, broken strings and lost guitar picks become part of delivering anthems of drinking and lost love—often in midweek shows for half-empty dancefloors.

On the debut EP from Dubuque band Kerosene Circuit, the distorted guitars light the well-worn highway that has been traveled down before by bands like Screaming Trees, Blackfoot, Uncle Tupelo, Skynyrd and what is probably the band’s closest comparison: The Drive-By Truckers. Those bands traveled far and worked hard to bring their music to the bars and earn their place in rock history.

With lyrics that possess the wizened perspective of experience and bluesy, grungy powerchords, Kerosene Circuit delivers a new spin on this proven formula. My favorite track on the EP, “Road Test,” is the latest anthem covering the topic of touring bands most famously exemplified by Bob Seger’s “Turn the Page.” When Aaron Hefel sings “it goes on and on and on just like a wheel / with a difference you can feel when you put it on the road” he’s talking about the gamble of taking a song he wrote to the stage, but also the measure of success of a band.

The potent mix of great lyrics and muscular guitars help propel this truckload of song from Kerosene Circuit much like the blend of stimulants and fuel that propel the deliveries that keep this country moving.

Category: Album Reviews

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


A collaboration between The Englert Theatre and FilmScene


Help us build the greatest small city for the arts in America—right here in Iowa City. Learn more »

Donate Today

Strengthen • Grow • Evolve is a collaborative campaign led by two Iowa City-based arts nonprofits, The Englert Theatre and FilmScene that seeks a major reinvestment to strengthen the arts through modern and historic venues, innovative programming, and new models of collaboration.

For 18 years...

Little Village has been telling the truth and changing our little corner of the world.

If you can, help us head into the next 18 years even stronger with a one-time or monthly contribution of $18, or any amount you choose.


Scattergood Friends Middle School Meet & Greet

Come and visit us at the Iowa City Holiday Farmers Market and the Robert A. Lee Recreation Center on Saturday, November 16.

Learn More
Event Details

Iowa City Farmers Market
November 16
10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Robert A. Lee Rec Center

Little Village
2019 Give Guide

Get to know some of the nonprofits helping to make the CRANDIC a better place to live.