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Album Review: The Butterfly Effect – ‘B-sides, Live and Rarities’

Album Review: The Butterfly Effect – ‘B-sides, Live and Rarities’

On the one hand we have twenty four tracks of absolute quality. On the other hand, we have this release because The Butterfly Effect (TBE) are calling it quits and releasing live tracks, B-sides and the rarities as a goodbye. This album is a memento of an unhappy event but also a stellar career.

Formed in Brisbane in 1999 TBE only had Karnivool and COG as peers in the prog / alternative genre. Over their career they gained a huge following in Australia and for their overseas shows. They became festival favourites, which propelled their albums to gold status and into the standard charts. They toured relentlessly, took to the outdoor main stages with ease and all this stemmed from a breathtaking EP which landed in 2001. After the three albums the band went for the fourth but around 2010 it all went quiet and only rumours spread. As the band moved to a more ‘progressive’ sound the tensions seemed to rise and the next album became increasingly unlikely. But, a quick tour came without any new material and all went quiet in 2013 after a tour DVD and a compilation album. A hiatus, a hibernation or a breakup, by any other name. In August this year we got the news it was all over. That’s the history.

As with any breakup we have to share the spoils and what a back catalogue we have to share in. I’m checking the band’s page on a regular basis to see what rarity is being offered in which format. The credit card has battle scars on it….’EP in white vinyl’….swipe. Then we have this collection of history, ’The Mastered Rarities’, the band in full flight and in happier days. First thing to note is the vocal of Clint Boge, they are perfect for this band and this genre. Powerful, poetic, with the right measure of tone and power. One of the best vocalists to come out of Australia, as far as I’m concerned.

The collection itself is sublime. The fourteen live tracks remind you of the presence that this band had when they took the stage. It’s the kind of awareness that comes from playing often. Thinking back to one European tour they managed to fit in about thirty three gigs in under forty days. That’s including all of the travelling that you need to do and it’s a big effort when you have come off the back of an album and an Australian tour. The live recordings on this release are immense.

Then we have a collection of demos, acoustics and other tracks making an immense collection that has become wedged in my car stereo and now part of its fabric. Unless you know the backstory you would take one listen to these glorious tracks and wonder why the band were splitting. The music stands the test of time and brings back great memories of watching TBE grow and challenge the typical rock of the day.

Picking a top track from these jewels is a difficult process. For those that dip the digital needle before making a purchase, then have a listen to, ‘a Slow Descent’. Yep, its progressive/ alternative rock and it works. ‘Worlds on Fire’, is a true prog masterpiece, a corker of a track. I can hear the young pretender Dyssidia in this track but it’s the sort of musical statement that influences a generation of artists. Even between these two songs there is such depth and growth that gave the impression that anything was possible. Just listen to, ‘Sum of 1’. WOW!! I could do this for all the tracks but the live tracks stand out, even amongst these gems.

Writing to tell you about the benefits of listening to The Butterfly Effect is much like encouraging you to consider the benefits of breathing oxygen. If you have a background that starts in Genesis, Gabriel or Fish then have a listen. There are passages that Hackett would be proud of. If you like to be challenged by the music that you listen to or be surprised by the twists and turns, then just have a listen.

As I said, there are a number of releases happening. The albums have been digitally released and available through the normal bit shops including Spotify. Get in amongst it and celebrate one of the more memorable careers of Australian rock. This goodbye is a great buy!!

Review: Craig Grant

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