Last year I was blown away by Australia’s Karnivool and their album Sound Awake. Their song New Day ended up getting my Song of the Year for 2010 and I still blast that album to this day. Well, this year brings me another Aussie band: Dead Letter Circus. Their debut album, This Is The Warning, has been out for over a year down under but is only just now getting a proper US release through Sumerian Records on July 26th. Produced by Forrester Savell, the same man who produced Sound Awake, there are obvious ways to connect the sound of Dead Letter Circus to Karnivool. But is This Is The Warning different enough to stand out on its own?
The simple answer is yes. Dear god, yes. Holy balls is This Is The Warning a fantastic album! Rich in textures and sonic palettes, this album is a joy to listen to. Not only that, it fucking rocks! Listening to this album, I can’t count the number of times that I wanted to get up and jump around, head banging the whole time. Even sitting down listening to this album on my studio monitors, I was nodding my head nearly the whole time. There is something wholly infectious about this album, its fingers sneaking under your skin and forcing you to move like some master puppeteer.
When it comes to the production of the album, you only have to call to mind how Sound Awake sounds to understand how crisp, clear and vibrant of a mix you’re going to hear. I loved trying to decipher all the layers and tones that were going on at once even though I knew it was near impossible. I had to listen to this album multiple times before I even thought of writing this review.
Songs like Reaction and Next In Line are perfect examples of more upbeat and fast-paced, almost frenzied tracks while Cage and This Is The Warning are aimed more at creating an atmosphere and building up to thrilling climaxes.
The Final Word: I cannot recommend this album highly enough. If you’re a fan of Karnivool, The Mars Volta, Tool, Porcupine Tree, or any other such band, Dead Letter Circus will easily fall into your musical taste. This Is The Warning might just become my ‘go to’ album for the rest of the year.