For Fans Of
“A band forged with the idea of doing something unique, new, and unheard,” this is the first statement in post-rock four piece Decoder’s bio. Upon listening to the group’s debut self titled record, the previous statement couldn’t be further from the truth. Featuring a mish-mash of members from groups such as Of Machines, Versa-Emerge and Oceana, Decoder pretty much sound like a combination of all of these groups with touches of bands like Chiodos, Circa Survive and Thrice thrown in as well. They perform this style well, but really shouldn’t come out saying the music is “unique, new and unheard.”
The record begins with Dreamwalker, an airy, floating beginning that builds to a very Saosin sounding verse, with a few heavy screams thrown in that sound a little out of place. Things pick up for the third track Conflict, which combines hardcore punk vocals with a heavy, indie rock influenced, sound which is the most unique moment of the record.
Another stand out is The Light, which uses some nice melodies to lure the listener into a comfortable, mellow rock verse before pounding a brutal wall of sound and screams for the chorus. One of the group’s strong points are the song dynamics, which flow well despite the jumps in energy and pace. Both the guitars and drums work in tandem for The Taker, and drive a head banging chug made heavy by the deep screams and big bass.
Decoder are certainly a heavy sounding band but they achieve this without needing overly distorted metal guitars, the guitars are actually the least heavy thing in this band, as the other instruments and vocals provide most of the power. The record ends with a curve ball, the piano driven Holding On, which features some haunting vocals that work against the friendly melody lines in a perfect contrast.
With the exception of the final track, Decoder have created an album of post-rock songs that borrow from a list of bands that came before them, including their own, and although they do it well, their idea of something unique and new is still yet to come to fruition.
5. The Light
6. The Giver
7. The Horrid
8. The Taker
10. Holding On