Dead Letter Circus
This is the Warning
You have been warned...
Aussie progressive/alternative rock is in a wonderful place right now. The last four or five years have been a veritable feast for the senses if you love this type of music, as I do. We've been absolutely blessed with what's been, and continues to be, released, and now yet another player steps into the big league. Anyone familiar with DLC prior to the release of this album knew they were more than capable of it, but with just one EP and a single to their name, the jury was possibly still out. They had to produce the all-important album to gain that final kick of credibility. And now that it's finally here, they haven't just arrived; they've kicked the door down and announced themselves in an extremely loud, clear voice.
They certainly took their time creating This is the Warning, and the wait has been more than worth it. This album sparkles and comes to life before your very ears. Their appreciation of space, air and dynamics in the context of a powerhouse Rock band is really quite something to behold. They have obviously been ridiculously meticulous in their treatment of sounds in the studio with production wunderkind Forrester Savelle, as everything sounds pretty close to perfect, to my ears. The drums are pounding but polished. The guitars shimmer and shine and sound like The Edge on steroids. The vocals soar to the very heavens. And the bass guitar sits exactly where it should, strong and foundational, but not too prominent.
And the songs. The songs. Quite superb, varied, powerful, meaningful. 'Here we Divide' sets the scene to perfection and the twelve song journey is as melodic as it is intense. Be warned: this isn't instant gratification music. It takes a number of listens to take effect in your psyche. Potentially a large number of listens. Especially a song like 'The Drum'. Long and ambient, it builds slowly to a busy drum driven crescendo. It far from grabbed me upon initial listens, but its subtle power gradually grew on me and took real form. Now it's a favourite. The only track mildly resembling a weak link would be one of two from one of the previous releases, 'Reaction', which I always thought of as one of their more pedestrian tunes. I thought 'The Mile' might be a better choice. But it's a very small price to pay, when the overall effect is that of wall to wall strength.
This is another landmark release for the Australian alternative scene, a scene which just grows in quality and reputation year by year. The mind boggles as to what they can achieve on future albums, if this is what they can produce on their debut. Buy it now.
(Warner Music Australia)