Review Summary: Decyfer Down has improved from End of Grey and have created an album any fan of rock music would love.
Artist: Decyfer Down
Label: INO Records
Release Date: May 5th, 2009
When a band changes vocalist, the fans do not know what to expect. When the band has to rerecord the vocals due to the change of vocalist, it means more money needs to be milked off the album. In the case of Decyfer Down, they had to rerecord vocals with new vocalist TJ Harris because Caleb Oliver left the band for unknown reasons. TJ has big shoes to fill as he is joining a band that has had five number one songs and this is just the band’s sophomore album. With new singer in tow, will Crash be able to keep fans happy or with the album crash and burn? Early indications indicate the fans are happy as their newest single, and first released with TJ, “Fading” debuted at twenty-six and is rising quickly up the charts.
The album starts out with the title-track number one single “Crash” now with TJ’s vocals. As much as I hate to say this, TJ was probably forced to keep the same vocal pattern as Caleb on the two EP songs found on the album. With that said, his voice does freshen up the songs for the listeners that bought the digital EP and played it a lot, me being included in that. In the other songs, you can get a feel of TJ’s sound and how he compliments and helps the rest of the band. While the band is still heavy at times, it has turned into a more balanced attack. “Desperate” has the hard rock guitars from the first album, but has the singing that is more fitted to their strengths. TJ adds a bit of flair to the band, and holds some of his notes out that benefits the songs as a whole.
The guitarists do not try to stand out, but they hold their own and switch accordingly for the type of song the band is playing at that time. The best example is the fact that the first three songs are rock songs, but the next song, “Best I Can”, is a Ballad and the guitars stay simple and effective. A great guitar intro is found on the song right after that, “Ride With Me”. “Wasting Away” and “Over My Head” gives you two short but first-rate guitar solos. Another compliment to Decyfer Down’s sound is the drummer, Caleb’s brother Josh. He has effective drumming and allows for some great moments like the synchronized drumming and singing on “Ride With Me”.
The song structures are very tight and have great flow in the songs. There are no awkward or unnecessary transitions within the songs and it sounds very smooth from the lighter parts to the heavier parts. The lyrics on the album are some of the best by the band so far. “Best I Can” and “Moving On” are two songs to showcase these great lyrics. The lyrics are also helped by TJ pouring passion into them and making them his own even though he was not a major part of the writing process.
While the band has strived to have no filler tracks, there are two weak tracks on the album. “Ride With Me” and “The Life” both just feel a bit off from the rest of the album. Not to say they are not good, they do not fit together into the puzzle the other songs create. With those two songs aside, Decyfer Down has improved from End of Grey and have created an album any fan of rock music would love. The lyrics and vocals are great and are complimented well by the guitars and drums.
Recommended Songs: Desperate, Best I Can, Moving On, Forever With You