Portugal's Dream Circus wants to make music like it's 1992. Following peers like Alice in Chains and Soundgarden, they seek to emulate that sound of d-tuned hard rock and metal mixed with acoustic flavor. Are they getting it? Maybe that's why they call their full-length debut Land of Make Believe.
This album certainly echoes the kings of Nineties alternative rock. But the echo merely translates into a curious but suspicious copy. Is it merely the single or two word song titles? Or the music? Or is James Powell's low register droning, sometimes moaning, vocals akin to Creed's Scott Stapp?
It's not that Dream Circus lacks for enthusiasm or even creativity. For instance, both Crown and Waiting are both familiar and intriguing. Perhaps an homage to the era they revere with subtle flairs of originality. I think the forty-something's of 2012 will get their sound, if only by reliving their youth. Nevertheless, Dream Circus sounds good, and they create the sound that they're going after. I liked much of what I heard, even though the music seems more a fond reflection of past times more than forward thinking, much like what a tribute band might do.