This Is the Warning

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This Is the Warning
DLC this is the warning cover.jpg
Studio album by Dead Letter Circus
Released 14 May 2010[1]
Recorded December 2009/January 2010 [2]
Genre Alternative rock, progressive rock, experimental rock
Length 53:32
Label Warner Music Australia
Producer Forrester Savell
Dead Letter Circus chronology
Dead Letter Circus (EP)
(2007)
This Is the Warning
(2010)
The Catalyst Fire
(2013)
Alternative covers
Vinyl cover
Vinyl cover
Singles from This Is the Warning
  1. "The Space on the Wall"
    Released: 11 August 2009
  2. "Big"
    Released: 9 April 2010

This Is the Warning is the debut album by Australian alternative/progressive rock band Dead Letter Circus. It was released on Friday 14 May 2010 and distributed by Warner Music Australia. For those who pre-ordered the album on the band's website, they received the digital album on the day of its release, as well as the hard copy of the album, sent through the mail.

The band also announced a This Is the Warning album launch tour which will play shows in most major capital cities in Australia.[3]

Tasmanian graphic artist Cameron Gray has collaborated with the band and his artwork is featured on the album's cover and booklet. Some of his work has already been revealed on the Project Dead Letter website.

Singles[edit]

The album tracks "Reaction" and "Next in Line" were released in 2008 as part of a 3-track EP, but were later also included on the album. The first official single from the album was "The Space on the Wall", released on 11 August 2009, followed by "Big", released on 9 April 2010, available as a free download on the band's website. The final single released from the album was "One Step". All three official singles, as well as "Reaction" received a music video.

Project Dead Letter site[edit]

As a way to get fans to get an insight into the making of the album, Dead Letter Circus created a website, the Project Dead Letter page. The aim of the site was to give fans new material every day, whether it was a snippet of a song, a live performance, pictures, video, and so on. However, to gain access to the site, fans first had to pre-order some form of the album. It started on 1 March 2010, and from thereon it gave fans all of the above, and more. Every now and then the band uploaded a full finished song from the album for fan's enjoyment. "Here We Divide" was first; after having snippets of it uploaded previously, it became available for full .mp3 download on Day #5. (It was not the first song from the album to be released, however, as "The Space on the Wall" had been released as a single prior to the Project Dead Letter site's creation, and was already available on iTunes).

The band continued to upload news of the album every day for the next 2 months, even uploading (in 2 separate parts) a live performance they did at their hometown. The next song to be released was "Big", the second single, on Day #40 - it too had been uploaded in snippets prior to this. Then came the album's title track on Day #61. All of the songs had their lyrics uploaded after release on the site. (Note: the band did not upload the full title track onto the site, as the album version had almost a minutes-worth of instrumentals at the start, whereas the version on the site cut this out. The album version was almost a minute longer).

As of Day #66, (on 5 May) the band began streaming songs that hadn't already been released on the Project. It started with "One Step", on that day, then "This Long Hour" on 6 May, Day #67, "The Drum" on Day #68, "The Design" on Day #69, and "Walk" on Day #70. The band also announced that the entire album is up for streaming on their MySpace.

On the day of the album's release the whole album was put up for download on the site, as well as being sent to those who pre-ordered the album. The band was both sad that The Project was finished, but excited the album was finally released.[citation needed]

Themes[edit]

The band have stated that the album is "a first person account of awakening to the construct that has been put in place in an attempt to control and mold us. However, it's also about refusing to be a subject of it and forging your own path."[4]

In 2011, Benzie revealed in-depth the concept behind the album; "the album’s basically a document of the awakening, realising that there is this structure and not being a part of it. We don’t really exist in that world, within the band.We haven’t watched television for five years. You can’t avoid it, obviously, but we’ve been so busy doing this thing. With the internet, we started to inform ourselves a long time ago. That became our news media. You get an ear for what’s the truth."[5] Benzie went on to reveal the real-world events that inspired the lyrics for the album; "war over oil fields and stuff like that. The disgrace of certain governments. Everyone can probably guess which governments we’re talking about. The larger Western world. The way that they go about obtaining what they need from the poor countries, everything from Iraq to Africa. You kill many people so you can run an oil pipeline through their country. 9/11 — that whole time was so surreal. It really shaped our world."[5]

Artwork[edit]

The album's artwork was done by artist Cameron Gray, whose pieces were also used for the singles, as well as poster and merchandise designs. Gray was discovered by Benzie who was looking for an artist that captured the visual feel of the band; "I really liked him when I found him online. I’d actually been searching all these artists, and I was looking at this surrealist stuff, I think it was, artists in his style, and I just looked at his stuff and felt this real connection. Everything he does is very first person, and all our songs are generally from the first person [perspective]."[5] Benzie also revealed that the artwork was a creative process, with Benzie providing Gray with the music and lyrics, to which he interpreted and produced the body of work that would become the album artwork; "How we did it is basically I would send him the song and the lyrics, and then he’d send something back and go, “Is this what you mean?” But like any conversation, it was pretty easy to misunderstand each other, so if he didn’t get it right the first time, or if he missed the meanings of the songs, which is also very easy to do, I would send him back a two-page rant about whatever the song was about. He’d generally get it right the next time he sent it through. I think we did like 24 pieces of art for the 12 songs and a couple extras, as well, that we kept for posters and stuff."[5]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[6]
Kill Your Stereo (78/100)[7]
Melodic.net 5/5 stars[8]
The Metal Forge 9/10 stars[9]
Planet-Loud (7/10)[10]
Pop Art Magazine (Mixed)[11]
The Vine (Unfavourable)[12]
Your Gigs 2.5/5 stars[13]

The album has been generally met with positive reviews. Melodic.net called the album "refreshing, uplifting and incredible," also stating that "this is a 12 track album that is packed full of killer tracks and surprises from beginning to end."[14] Allmusic described the album as "Delay-based guitar textures are interlaced with subtle synth undercurrents, creating complex patterns out of a set of simple rhythms without cutting down on melody, and the whole thing is executed with a surgical precision that recalls the incarnation of Krautrock promoted by Maserati -- while the sheer intensity brings to mind God Is an Astronaut more than My Chemical Romance."[6]

However, The Vine's Andrew McMillen described the album as "disappointing," saying that "the album's many attempts at meaningful, emotive prog-rock continue to strike me as hokey and half-baked."[12] yourGigs' also lamented the album as being average, saying that "everything just sounds too perfect, too machine-like, and, musically speaking, as a result, comes off sounding cold and devoid of heart."[13]

Track listing[edit]

The track listing for the album was revealed on the Project Dead Letter website on Day #27 leading up to the launch.

No. Title Length
1. "Here We Divide" 5:07
2. "One Step" 3:29
3. "Big" 3:42
4. "The Space on the Wall" 3:57
5. "This Long Hour" 4:28
6. "Cage" 4:45
7. "Reaction" 3:45
8. "The Drum" 6:16
9. "The Design" 5:46
10. "Next in Line" 3:23
11. "Walk" 4:11
12. "This Is the Warning" 4:46
Total length: 53:32

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Australian Albums: What To Expect in 2010". Abc.net.au. Retrieved 2011-09-27. 
  2. ^ "Dead Letter Circus Newsletter #22". Blogs.myspace.com. 2010-01-04. Retrieved 2011-09-27. 
  3. ^ "DLC This Is The Warning Launch Tour". Liveguide.com.au. 2010-04-09. Retrieved 2011-09-27. 
  4. ^ "Dead Letter Circus sign to Sumerian Records | News". Kill Your Stereo. Retrieved 2011-09-27. 
  5. ^ a b c d 10 August 2011 (48 days ago) - by Scott Sugarman (2011-08-10). "Interview with Kim Benzie of Dead Letter Circus - Rock Edition | Rock News, Interviews, Tour Dates, Videos and More!". Rock Edition. Retrieved 2011-09-27. 
  6. ^ a b Eremenko, Alexey. This Is the Warning at AllMusic. Retrieved 2011-04-16.
  7. ^ "Dead Letter Circus - This is the Warning | Reviews". Kill Your Stereo. Retrieved 2011-09-27. 
  8. ^ Castell, Mitch. "Dead Letter Circus – This Is The Warning". Melodic.net. Retrieved 2010-09-21. 
  9. ^ "Review - Dead Letter Circus - This is the Warning". The Metal Forge. Retrieved 2011-09-27. 
  10. ^ Admin, Site. "Alternative Music And Lifestyle Website » Blog Archive » Dead Letter Circus – This Is The Warning – Album Review". Planet Loud. Retrieved 2011-09-27. 
  11. ^ "Album Review: This Is The Warning, Dead Letter Circus. « PoptArt Magazine". Poptartmagazine.wordpress.com. Retrieved 2011-09-27. 
  12. ^ a b Andrew McMillen. "Dead Letter Circus 'This Is The Warning' - Album Reviews". Thevine.com.au. Retrieved 2011-09-27. 
  13. ^ a b "Please wait". Yourgigs.com.au. Retrieved 2011-09-27. 
  14. ^ "Melodic Net - Dead Letter Circus - This is the Warning". Melodic.net. Retrieved 2011-09-27.