Dead Letter Circus
This Is The Warning


4.5
superb

Review

by Billy USER (32 Reviews)
May 10th, 2010 | 710 replies | 55,271 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: In 'This is the Warning,' Dead Letter Circus have released one of the most exciting debut albums to come from Australia in years, proving they are a band to watch in 2010.

32 of 32 thought this review was well written

There’s a sentence in Dead Letter Circus’ official bio that might just be the first accurate thing a band has ever written about themselves;

“Watching someone on their first listen to Brisbane alternative breakthroughs Dead Letter Circus searching to come up with a neat description is fascinating viewing... “It’s kind of like... no wait, it’s more of a... Wow, I have no idea what it is, but it’s different...”

It describes the band perfectly, with their delay soaked alternative rock drawing comparisons ranging from The Mars Volta to U2. For the last couple of years with the help of a brilliant EP, thousands of very loyal fans and more recently, a major label, DLC have become one of the more popular bands in Australian rock. Thus with the release of their debut album there is quite a large amount of expectation. Fans however, can rest easy, because the album is killer.

Epic is a word thrown around all too frequently in reference to bands in this genre, seemingly becoming just another genre name for bands with big vocals and spaced out songs. However, on This is the Warning, Dead Letter Circus have actually achieved the definition of epic. Coming across as a combination of The Temper Trap, Karnivool and everything else in between, the band manage to maintain an air of experimentation while still being inherently catchy. That’s essentially where This is the Warning succeeds as an album; it has a crossover appeal that will appease music fans in general. This is particularly true on songs such as the scintillating opener ‘Here We Divide’ and the insanely catchy ‘Big.’ Both are songs that are reasonably straightforward in terms of structure, but still manage to maintain interest over and over.

The band’s progression from their debut EP is apparent from the get go, both in song writing and musicianship. Throughout This is the Warning there is a myriad of extra sounds and instruments. This is particularly true for some of the more experimental songs on the album, namely ‘The Drum’ and ‘The Design.’ Without getting too far ahead of ourselves, ‘The Drum’ may just be the best thing DLC has written. Featuring everything from industrial influences to Karnivool inspired heaviness, ‘The Drum’ shows that Dead Letter Circus is not a ‘one trick pony,’ but is in fact capable of experimenting and, funnily enough, excelling at it. ‘The Drum’ is quite a subdued track, giving vocalist Kim Benzie the perfect vessel to prove his worth (If the rest of the album hadn’t already done that for you). ‘Cage’ also sees the band head in a new direction. While still a straightforward song in terms of structure, it deviates from the traditional Dead Letter Circus sound in that it is largely industrial based, particularly in the chorus. This inclusion of new influences and instruments once again gives the band room to experiment, giving rise to a brilliant song.

Staying true to their roots, there are a couple of songs that hark back to Dead Letter Circus’ early days. Fuelled by Rob Maric and his guitar delay, ‘This Long Hour’ is essentially ‘The Mile’ on speed, featuring the best chorus that Dead Letter Circus have written so far. While first single ‘The Space on the Wall’ sees the band in rock anthem mode, with Stewart Hill’s bass propelling the song. Conversely, the title track and closer ditches the verse/chorus format all together, giving drummer Luke Williams a chance to show off, pounding his toms amidst Benzie’s consistently astounding vocals. Williams also proves his worth in ‘Walk’ with the jangling guitars and huge vocal bridge providing the perfect medium for him to experiment with his style, and doing so to perfection.

The only real negative is that a couple of the songs, namely ‘Reaction’ and ‘Next In Line’ are not completely new, having been around since early 2008. Funnily enough, while they were probably considered some of Dead Letter Circus’ best songs prior to the album’s release, they are the two weakest tracks on the album, if only for the fact that there is little deviation from the sound of their debut EP. This however, should not be a deterrent, as they are both great songs in their own right, they just lack the extra oomph and flesh that the rest of the album has.

By including a huge range of new influences and sounds, Dead Letter Circus have quashed fears that their sound was becoming stale and have instead created a superb and diverse debut album. With This is the Warning under their belts it shouldn’t be long before everyone is on the DLC band wagon. You better jump on quickly.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Vooligan
May 10th 2010



3541 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Streaming here, kiddies: www.myspace.com/deadlettercircus

Don't care if it sounds fanboyish. I'm in love.

crazyblinddude
May 10th 2010



3389 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

im really excited for this. nice review. im gonna check out the stream right now.

BrahTheSunGod
May 10th 2010



1279 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Holy shit this is good. Not gonna rate it for a few more listens but after two so far, it's a 4.5 that might just grow. Also, Kim is a beast on here. I feel like he really stepped up.

Great review, and thanks for pointing out that this is streaming! Pos'd

Ghostechoes
May 10th 2010



1353 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sounds good.

Mordecai.
May 10th 2010



8270 Comments


yes yes fucking yes

Douglas
May 10th 2010



9052 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Swell review, cant wait to check this out.

AtavanHalen
May 10th 2010



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

As it stands, it's a solid 4. Really, really good album.

Douglas
May 10th 2010



9052 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

So fair this is RULING

cb123
May 10th 2010



1991 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

lol u wasted no time in getting this together vool :p cant wait to get my hands on this!!

Jim
May 10th 2010



5110 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

well done billy. listening now.

Eclectic
May 10th 2010



3302 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review, not fanboyish at all really. Have a pos.

Vooligan
May 10th 2010



3541 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Reviews been basically done for the last few days. They've been streaming most of the songs on the project dead letter site. Hence why this is up so quickly.

But yes, glad you're all liking the album.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
May 10th 2010



20855 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

F'n fantastic review William. Even on your previous hype trains, you have not written as clearly and informatively as this. Well done & worth a pos.

I especially like the sound of "...the band manage to maintain an air of experimentation while still being inherently catchy. That’s essentially where This is the Warning succeeds as an album; it has a crossover appeal that will appease music fans in general."

I'm still not going to listen to it though. You're fun to annoy. ;-)

Bitchfork
May 10th 2010



7584 Comments


deloused=this.

KritikalMotion
May 10th 2010



2261 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i guess its about time i check this band out

Phil
May 10th 2010



1473 Comments


When is it out physically?

Douglas
May 10th 2010



9052 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

May 14th

Phil
May 10th 2010



1473 Comments


Cool, I'll get it then.

Vooligan
May 10th 2010



3541 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Hype train is filling up nicely.

Thanks for the comments/pos, Davey. Just so ya know, this one is the mother of all hype trains. Managed to get Eleventh He Reaches London and Karnivool in the top 10 last year. Aiming for top 5 with DLC this year.

Also, for those who have listened. What do y'all think?

Powerban
May 10th 2010



2380 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i'll get this and enjoy it, i'm sure



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