deadlettercircusDEAD LETTER CIRCUS – The Catalyst Fire
‘The Catalyst Fire’ is Dead Letter Circus’ second contribution to the Australian music scene, their debut album ‘This Is the Warning’ reached number 1 down under and was even voted by listeners of an Australian radio station as one of the ‘Hottest 100 Albums of All Time’.  Let’s remember to put this in context though; Australia isn’t exactly renowned for churning out genre defining musical acts.  If it wasn’t for INXS and Kylie Minogue, the Aussie music scene may have been kept afloat by Jason Donovan and Russell Crowe for the last few decades.  It’s sometimes good to have a second opinion and my 5-year old daughter was quick to offer assistance.  When listening to second track ‘Alone Awake’, she commented that it sounded familiar.  Under further interrogation, however, it became apparent that this was not due to it having been played on Radio 1’s ever repeated playlist, or it being the backing for an advert on The Disney Channel, but that it sounded the same as the first track ‘The Cure’.  This ultimately is The Catalyst Fire’s biggest downfall; it’s not so much 11 individual tracks but one long monochromatic movement separated by 10 short gaps.  Only first single ‘Lodestar’ with its Little Boots style keyboard progression provides anything like a melody that you might find yourself inadvertently recalling.  The band cites their musical influences as Tool, Deftones, Soundgarden, Radiohead and Pearl Jam. Oh please! None of these influences are even remotely apparent on The Catalyst Fire and if you’re a fan of these bands you’ll be sorely disappointed if you’re expecting something even close.  The final word has to go to my 5-year old who said the album sounded like Madonna and was really good.  It did not sound like Madonna nor was it really good.  (4)




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