DEAD LETTER CIRCUS
Release Date: 22/04/16
Alternative rockers Dead Letter Circus are already big news in their native Australia. Their albums have reached the top of the charts there and they are a big draw on the live touring circuit.
'Aesthesis' is their third full length release and has already been a success at home as it was released there way back in September 2015. Now they have decided the time is right to have a go at cracking the European market so the album has finally received an official release in the northern hemisphere.
DLC (as we'll call them for now) specialise in big, anthemic rock but with a soul. This an album of lush sounding songs, almost desperate to pass on the emotion of the lyrics and create a dense yet melodic atmosphere around them. Think of a lighter more melodic Tool meeting a much ballsier Radiohead and deciding to make something radio friendly.
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'X' is a good example of what they do; it's busy and anthemic yet manages to sound uplifting and remarkably light and melodic despite the hard rocking work of the band and especially drummer Luke Williams.
'While You Wait' is aimed straight at the rock radio stations of the world with its pounding rhythms and catchy chorus working straight into your brain and refusing to leave. 'Show Me' on the other hand starts more gently but works its way up to a chorus sliding in some beautifully ethereal passages and The Edge style guitar lines.
When they go into full quiet reflective mode on 'Silence' they show they are really adept at that too, giving the song an electronica style vibe while sealing in the atmosphere with more elegant and stylish guitar.
All this is beautifully crafted and impeccably executed but I have to admit listening to the album all they way through, by the time I got to last track, 'Born (Part 2)', I was ready for something a bit different. All bands have their own style but a little more variety in the song writing might have made this an even better album.
There are bonus acoustic versions of 'While You Wait' and 'The Lie We Live' aimed I assume at tempting keen fans who bought the original version of the album to shell out again. They are both pretty good and maybe hint at a way the band could throw some different vibes into their songs now again.
Despite the formulaic nature at times of the album though the quality of the song writing and playing is such that the overall effect is still really enjoyable. If they are going to spend some time working on the European market Australia's loss is our gain as they have a lot to offer. If modern commercial yet atmospheric rock sounds like your thing DLC are definitely worth checking out.