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DEAD LETTER CIRCUS This Is The Warning Warner (2011)

Dead Letter Circus

Australian proggers, Dead Letter Circus are difficult to pigeon hole. The emphasis is less on the maths and more on an overriding rhythm and tune.

In fact, when you break down the first couple of tracks, you are in Manic Street Preachers/U2 territory with a recognisable melody which rises high above a powerful and somewhat metallic rhythm. In place of crunching riffs however is the jangling Edge like tones of guitarist, Rob Mariac which certainly broaden the scope of the sound and provide DLC with a distinctive signature.

The lofty assault continues with 'Big' and its triple time with bass (Stewart Hill) and drums (Luke Williams) providing a pretty solid layer for Mariac and falsetto front man, Kim Benzie to exploit.

An emotional tour de force, there's plenty of urgency in this concoction. Pick of the songs is 'Cage' which I played on my Rockwaves radio show. It's a sheer wall of sound reminiscent of Yes circa 'Owner of a Lonely Heart' at times.

The title track is also the most intriguing song on the album, teasing us unto a full sense of security before unleashing another furiously fast fandango.

My main beef is the over production which negates much of the heart and soul of the album. While I don't necessarily advocate an acoustic track, I don't feel as if I have engaged enough with the band when the last note fades. Cold is too stronger word but I'd certainly like to have been warmed up a little more early on.

That said, DLC would probably be best heard at a live show and this scribe would enjoy the opportunity of checking them out when they inevitably reach the UK.

If you like drama in your music, you'll enjoy Dead Letter Circus.


Review by Keith Thompson

Keith Thompson presents Rockwaves on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sunday 21:00 GMT+1

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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