DEAD LETTER CIRCUS
Aussies continue to rise, but fail to excite.
When it takes a band four albums to release a self-titled record, it usually means they’ve finally found their identity and they’re ready to tell the world. It’s Dead Letter Circus’ time to go all eponymous on us, with singer Kim Benzie proclaiming that the band have “reached a point of a collective mind state” in their career. It’s hard to tell if he was just spinning a well-worn story ahead of the album’s release, but what’s clear is that Dead Letter Circus feels like the band’s most cohesive record yet, its 10 songs tight and tenacious.
But while it packs a punch, the album will struggle to pique the interest of prog purists. Its left-turns are found in the jagged riffs and explorative soundscapes, but they’re frustratingly shy. Tracks such as The Real You show why the band have toured with 30 Seconds To Mars, with Benzie’s hooky vocals soaring above slabs of well-crafted, contemporary alt-rock. Amid the arena-friendly pomp there’s a handful of dalliances, like the almost-djent riff in Home or the distortion-into-electronica finale to Say It Won’t Be Long. Dead Letter Circus are getting bigger, but are they getting better? Prog fans won’t be so sure.