It’s hard to believe that Brisbane band Dead Letter Circus have been around for over a decade now, it seems as if it were only yesterday when they exploded onto the airwaves of Triple J with the song “Disconnect and Apply.”
The alternative rockers have gone from strength to strength, touring every corner of Australia, and basically all around the globe, opening for a multitude of huge acts such as Muse, Judas Priest and Karnivool as well as their own headlining tours. They’ve also been releasing quality albums that have all been a perfect mix of bombastic and subtle with a few left turns thrown in for good measure. This continues with their latest offering “The Endless Mile.
“The Endless Mile” Sees the band looking at the past to push towards the future; the ten tracks are re workings or re imaginings of their debut self titled EP alongside some handpicked favourites from the following three albums “This Is The Warning,” “The Catalyst Fire,” and “Aesthesis.”
And re imagined they are. While fans of the band will still be able to recognise most of the songs immediately, some tracks will take you awhile to identify. For example, even though “The Space on The Wall” is given a lush acoustic and symphonic makeover, it still sounds like the same song, just a little more pop tinged and relaxed. Others are really shook up though, like the opener “The Mile.” What was once an up-tempo, hard rocking song with high falsetto vocals has now become a slow, acoustic, light blues track tinged with melancholy and it works a treat.
By throwing away the rulebook, the group indulges in a varied range of styles without an air of pretentiousness. There’s the bombastic orchestral styling of “Disconnect and Apply” With some great syncopated snare work from drummer/percussionist Luke Williams, the reggae infused vibe of “Are We Closer” with some simple tasty licks from guitarists Clint Vincent and Luke Palmer and the lightly funk, highly danceable “Here We Divide” Showcases some great bass work from Stewart Hill.
All of the songs are awash with lush synth work from keyboardist and vocalist Kim Benzie, they compliment the tracks beautifully, giving the songs full, rich sounds without overpowering them. This stripped back approach really let’s Benzie’s voice sit front and centre, he manages to convey a range of emotions with his vocal styling and a great sense of power without resorting to screaming, just good old fashioned melody, which is incredibly refreshing.
All in all, Dead Letter Circus has managed to celebrate the original EP that put them on the map ten years ago in an interesting way without sacrificing the soul of the songs. Each reworked version compliments what came before which gives the listener a new understanding of the wonderful nature of the art of creating and recreating. And with a brand new album on the way shortly, one has to wonder what path Dead Letter Circus will take next.
A stellar effort from a stellar band.
Get your copy of “The Endless Mile”!