Fives: 5 Essential Australian Prog Bands (by Dead Letter Circus)

Dead Letter Circus
Photo Credit: Ian Laidlaw
Dead Letter Circus
Photo Credit: Ian Laidlaw

This week, Brisbane, Australia’s Dead Letter Circus return with their fourth full-length album. Described as their “most political statement to date”, the self-titled album sees the alt-rockers take a psychological route as it continues their trend of taking a strong ethical stance. Throughout frontman Kim Benzie reflects on lessons learned as he examines the world around us. Recent single, ‘The Real You’ highlights the cultural shift social media has had and how people can mask over how they present themselves.

Over the course of its ten tracks, ‘Dead Letter Circus’ provide a euphoric alternative rock that is firmly embedded into their progressive core. This leads to the quintet to finding a sound of their own; mixing together ethereal atmospherics, impassioned and soaring vocals, and stirring drum work.

With their progressive tendencies, Dead Letter Circus are part of a long line of bands to emerge from the Australian prog scene. We spoke to DLC vocalist Kim Benzie about the five essential prog bands to come from Down Under.

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These guys truly started the scene in Australia that we are apart of. To me, they were the first heavy Aussie band that I connected with more than the big international bands. There was a time where every good heavy band (in my opinion) was from overseas. Cog just came out of nowhere, with Tool level song-writing, and blew me away. They are largely responsible for me taking my path in life, as they showed me that an Aussie band could throw down with the heavyweights from overseas. They’re still my favourite band.


I love this band for their music and for the people within the band. 100% no compromise, no bullshit. These guys follow no curve and inspire me with every move they make. They helped us massively, giving us some of our first tours and are one of the greatest live bands on the planet.

The Butterfly Effect

These guys are from our home city (Brisbane) and were the ones who truly helped break DLC, putting us on our first massive tour and telling the world about us on MySpace. We shared a rehearsal room with them at some stages, and they gave us the confidence in our unique style, basically harassing us for 18 months to stop writing and to do our first show.


There is something magnificent about this band that just rocks my world. The textures and the emotion are next level. We’ve toured with them a lot and we perfectly compliment each other on a bill.

Twelve Foot Ninja

These guys are one of the most innovative bands on the planet and one of the tightest live bands I have ever heard. They’re always breaking new ground and pushing the envelope. If you haven’t checked them out yet and I have the pleasure of alerting you to this monster of a band. You are fucking welcome!

‘Dead Letter Circus’ by Dead Letter Circus is released on 21st September on BMG Australia / Rise Records.

Dead Letter Circus links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


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