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Dead Letter Circus

Dead-Letter-CircusSleep Parade/Closure In Moscow
Metropolis Fremantle
Friday, September 20, 2013

Melbourne’s Sleep Parade initially had me duped, with their catchy riffing and singsong verses bringing to mind Britpop stalwarts Oasis and Blur. However, the rest of their set left comparisons to nasal Britons for dead – in the short time afforded them, they built a cataclysmic wall of sound punctuated by downtrodden riffs and reverb-heavy vocals. Sleep Parade are anything but sleepy.

Closure In Moscow’s frontman Christopher de Cinque was like some kind of hipster nightmare as he asked the audience if we were feeling ‘loose and jazzy fresh.’ The self-proclaimed ‘bro-rockers’ are actually anything but, combining pop-punk hooks with glam-metal screams to great effect. Saddled with an octave-defying voice and boisterous confidence, de Cinque was the undisputed star of the show – but there was something in his crass banter and cheesy posturing that just didn’t ring true. While it’s always great to see a band that doesn’t take themselves too seriously, the five piece somehow seem to be trying too damn hard in the process – they smacked of self-satisfaction. Disappointing, considering the collective talents of Closure In Moscow – but no one wants to be patronised by a man in short shorts.

As Dead Letter Circus arrived, the venue was so crammed it was hard to breathe. Deafening cheers welcomed the prog-driven pioneers as they launched into The Cure, proving in mere moments why triple j’s Dom Alessio calls them the most epic band in Australia.

Frontman Kim Benzie is blessed with an ethereal, spine-tingling voice, its power buoyed along by the meticulous musicianship of his band mates; and as he paused to say ‘if any of you guys have our new album Catalyst Fire – we really appreciate it!’ he showed that modesty never goes out of style. With fantastical red and blue light shows accompanying much-loved tracks The Reaction, Space On The Wall and Say Your Prayers, Dead Letter Circus were in fine, frenzied form.

Sumptuous smash hit Lodestar nearly caused a riot, with Benzie whooping ‘one of the best things about being in this band is when you scream the words back at us…’ and as they took their leave, the screams grew to a thunderous roar. Thankfully, we were promised an encore if we agreed to ‘go fucking crazy,’ which was no hard task in a pit filled with flying drinks and flailing limbs. Promise kept, We Divide, Lines and Next In Line signalled the end of an all-too-short night.

 ELLIE HUTCHINSON

 

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