The Butterfly Effect completely passed me by first time around. Having lived overseas for all of the 90’s and half of the 2000’s, I came home to find there had been some awesome Aussie bands that had come and unfortunately gone during that time. So how happy was I to see them reunite and to have had the opportunity to discover them and see their fantastic live shows. Imago was on repeat in my headphones for many months and they were able to fill venues playing the songs that people loved from that time. Now, after 14 years, we have a new album to savour and an accompanying tour. I am very excited to hear the new songs but have some feelings of trepidation. Will they give us the sound that made us fall in love with them to begin with? Or will they be trying something new (always fraught with danger. I still haven’t forgiven Radiohead for the wanky, self-indulgent shit they produced from in the early 2000’s).
Track one is the title track IV. An instrumental piece that builds from a very minimalist beginning to a crescendo of guitars and drums with some lovely classical string sections in the mix. If I close my eyes, I can see a darkened stage with clouds of smoke tastefully lit and the crowd going mad with expectation as this track plays to announce the arrival of the band. Goosebumps!! Great start.
Track two is Dark Light and with the opening bars, I can see we are going to be on solid ground with this album. The soaring falsetto from Clint Boge and guitar in the minor key (I think, I’m no musician) gives that atmospheric, spine tingling feeling that is what I have always associated with The Butterfly Effect. The bridge sets the scene for a very singable chorus. This will be a crowd favourite at their upcoming gigs, I have no doubt.
Track Three is Wave of Tides – Long. The lyrics seem to speak of battling demons, being lost in the battle, searching for someone to help and the hope for better. I don’t know if this was written during the pandemic but in these lyrics, I feel something of my own struggles during the last couple of years and I think this song is going to be very relatable to many people.
Track Four, Nil By Mouth starts with some serious riffage. Definitely one of the heavier tracks on the album, this will appeal to the New Metal fans out there. Clint is pulling out all of the vocal tricks on this track as he slips from his signature falsetto to some dirty vocals more akin to The Amity Affliction than TBE. Short and sweet, but will be a great one to bounce to at a gig.
Track Five is The Other Side. The intro of this track begins with a drum solo from Ben Hall and how nice is to hear a drummer get a chance to really shine on an album track. Throughout the song, the drums are front and centre while guitar and bass are more an accompaniment to this. Love it. This will be another great gig singalong, I am sure.
Track Six is So Tired. Not one of my favourites. The verses are frenetic and jarring to the senses. And all of this culminates in a beautiful chorus that is all too short before we’re back to the chaos. The saving grace is the last two minutes of the song where it settles back into more melodic territory. Some will love it, me, not so much but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.
Track Seven is Unbroken. Another example of the perfect chorus and I would go so far as to say, a perfect example of an alternative rock classic. Very reminiscent of some of their earlier stuff but I am in no way sorry for that. It’s heavy enough for a good head bang but is full of lifting moments and I am very surprised that this was not the first single from the album. It will definitely be a floor filler live.
Track Eight is Great Heights. And I find myself running out of superlatives. I love a song that builds and the verse and bridge to this song feel like the foothills and the wonderful chorus is the pinnacle.
Another track that I think could easily be a single. A song of many parts which fit together perfectly to be another TBE classic.
Track nine is Start Again. At first listen, I thought this felt a bit like a filler track to me, but on about the third listen, I changed my mind. The bass and drums are a real highlight of the song and it definitely confirms to the TBE winning formula.
Track ten is the first single release, Visiting Hours. The melodic guitar on its’ own is the perfect accompaniment to some typically dramatically sung lyrics. It builds, but not as much as Unbroken or Great Heights. The lead break towards the end is perfection. Perhaps picked as the first single for a more radio friendly return to the airwaves, it certainly would not have been my choice. But I think it does let fans, and new listeners to TBE know what they are about and whets the appetite for more.
I was so excited to have the chance to review this album and to say I am not disappointed is an understatement. It has all of the ingredients that made The Butterfly Effect who they are while still being new and fresh. I cannot wait to see these songs live and to see how they are accepted by old fans and new audiences alike. BRING IT ON!!!
IV is out now.
Tickets for The Butterfly Effect’s upcoming national tour are on sale now from www.thebutterflyeffectband.com.au.
THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT – IV 2022 TOUR:
with guests Thornhill & Caligula’s Horse
Tickets available from: www.thebutterflyeffectband.com.au
FRI 30 SEPT | TANKS ARTS CENTRE, CAIRNS, QLD | 18+
SAT 1 OCT | MANSFIELD HOTEL, TOWNSVILLE, QLD | 18+
SUN 2 OCT | HARRUP PARK, MACKAY, QLD | 18+
THUR 6 OCT | BLANK SPACE, TOOWOOMBA, QLD | 18+
FRI 7 OCT | EATONS HILL HOTEL, BRISBANE, QLD | 18+
SAT 8 OCT | UNSW ROUNDHOUSE, SYDNEY, NSW | 18+
SUN 9 OCT | HOBART UNI BAR, HOBART, TAS | 18+
THUR 13 OCT | NORTHCOTE THEATRE, MELBOURNE, VIC | 18+ *NEW SHOW*
FRI 14 OCT | NORTHCOTE THEATRE, MELBOURNE, VIC | 18+ *SOLD OUT*
SUN 15 OCT | HINDLEY ST MUSIC HALL, ADELAIDE, SA | 18+
SUN 16 OCT | METROPOLIS, FREMANTLE, WA | 18+