Lead Hands
Lead Hands


3.0
good

Review

by Eli EMERITUS
January 18th, 2011 | 26 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Imagine waking up naturally, without the aid of an alarm, well rested and fully aware, only to find out that it’s raining, and you’ve over slept.

Consisting of members from outfits such as Oceana, Of Machines, and VersaEmerge, Decoder isn’t quite a new super group, but rather, a ragtag collection of several misfits and dissidents, clamoring for their “new” and “fresh” identities. Arising from the loins of the above mentioned groups, Decoder have appeared, with sights set on “unheard of uniqueness“. Amiably ambitious, but so poorly misguided, their self titled debut ironically falls quicker than Icarus with his desirous wax wings.

To be curt, Decoder is nothing special. Balancing somewhere between a refreshing post-hardcore venture and a tiring pop-punk affair, the album too often indulges in the most insipid aspects of the “scene” from whence it was born. It’s well done for sure, and the artists have their hearts and minds in the project 100%. However, Decoder just doesn’t have enough going for it to be considered anything other than a novel little record.

The album falls somewhere between intensely likable and monotonously dull. It starts out promisingly enough, with “Dreamwalker” being a mixture of emotional intensity and provocative musicality. It’s sort of sounds like the amalgamation of an early Circa Survive song, Oceana, and some John Mess screams. It comes together really well, with the band feeling more like a cohesive unit than a group of separate entities. The clean singing of some oh-so-wounded lyrics dual layered with the screaming actually works really well not only here, but on the entire album as well. The guitarists and drummers are nothing to write home about, but their contributions work incredibly well in the context of the music . However, aside from some flairs of excitement, Decoder just never manages to capture the same feeling of the intro. It starts off so wonderfully but just fumbles and trips over its own feet, offering a bumpy, nine-song downhill slope. The songs end up bleeding together, with each average-length, average tempo track sort of feeling like a clone of the preceding one. Eventually, the entire product becomes a tick monotonous, with tracks like “The Giver” being the only things to keep the listener from becoming completely disinterested.

Aside from being a tad homogeneous, the issue with Decoder is that it just doesn’t go far enough. It’s so close to being there, but it feels like the band is perfectly content with never actually reaching wherever there may be. It’s apparent that they are at least trying, with piano interludes and quiet/angry emotional dichotomies being used to ad nauseum. However, none of this is fresh or intriguing, nor is it deep, meaningful, or intellectual. It’s simply a regurgitation, a bastardization of the litany of post-hardcore tricks of the trade. They want so badly to be exceptional and groundbreaking, that they sort of refrain from actually letting themselves go, making it a little too safe, which in turn makes it a little too weak.

Although Decoder is the musical embodiment of a downward tailspin, it still manages to be an enjoyable piece of music. The adolescent exuberance is ripe, but Decoder just doesn’t quite push the boundaries that their aspirations promised. The energy and excellence of “The Giver,” and the inspirational beauty of “Holding On” are representative of Decoder’s passions, but as a whole, their debut just doesn’t have enough gall to stand with the rest of their peers. It’s a nice start, but this band, as well of its members, are capable of so much more.



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3.6
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other reviews of this album
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Decoder creates a technically great, but monotonous debut album....

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Comments:Add a Comment 
Xenophanes
Emeritus
January 18th 2011


10611 Comments


First 2011 review.

Digging: Kayo Dot - Coffins On Io

bloc
January 18th 2011


34915 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

YES I AM NOT ALONE

Xenophanes
Emeritus
January 18th 2011


10611 Comments


Same here lol, I thought everyone was so enamored of this.

Tyrael
January 18th 2011


20893 Comments


Oh my God that summary is perfect!

TheOceanInside
January 18th 2011


439 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

summary is great, and i feel a bit disappointed you didn't touch on how wonderful the horrid is.

their best track by far.

that being said i'm lowering my rating from a 4 to a 3.5 because the screams just get annoying after 6 songs

cvlts
January 18th 2011


8967 Comments


lol'd @ summary.

noice review bro

Irving
Staff Reviewer
January 18th 2011


7311 Comments


Great review Xeno - have a pos. This will be a feature in two days tops - calling it.

And TRE05, please break up your comment into smaller, more manageable bits. You've just forced a page break on everyone.

Tyrael
January 18th 2011


20893 Comments


This will be a feature in two days tops - calling it.

Should be

Xenophanes
Emeritus
January 18th 2011


10611 Comments


Thanks guys.

Yeah, I can definitely see why many people would enjoy this. Hell, I should enjoy this, but it just isn't that great.

PinkBlackberry
January 18th 2011


2346 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I think this review is very good, beats out the other 2 by leaps and bounds, I just wish you liked it more Xeno D:


then again I conduct the hype train for anything remotely decent in this genre because I am a unashamed fanboy. Love me or hate me it's what I do.

ALL ABOARDDDD!!! *TOOOT TOOOOOTTTTT*

Xenophanes
Emeritus
January 18th 2011


10611 Comments


Thanks Pink : )

Like I said, I should enjoy this, as you usually enjoy stuff like this. Got anything like this that I may enjoy?

PinkBlackberry
January 18th 2011


2346 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Do I ever!

Lately I've been on a weird stint, (if you have heard these already my apologies)

I Am Alaska - To Elude the Architect
Lady Radiator - Bounce Energy hear me out
Am I Invisible - White album ( I think?)
In League - Where the silence is easy
Pianos Become the Teeth - Old Pride (every bodies heard it, but you never know)
Rinoa - An age among them
Tides of man - Dreamhouse

some of it's Glassjaw-ish, Some of it's straight up generic post-hardcore, but they've all got their
little gems, and I've been enjoying them quite heartily. Also, if you notice a ..some-what
underlying ambient tone, It's kinda what I've been obsessing over as of late. = ), Enjoy man.

IAmKickass
January 19th 2011


840 Comments


I've been waiting for some time to sit down and listen to this album straight through. I have to admit I was expecting much better ratings from this though. Guess that's just my high hopes talking.

Tyrael
January 19th 2011


20893 Comments


Why isn't this featured yet...

TREO5
January 19th 2011


1071 Comments


my copy is on the way, if this is better than birtheater ill eat my arms.

TREO5
January 19th 2011


1071 Comments


i cant find a hard copy of to elude the architect anywhere and i reeeeeeeally want that, don't like to download.

Xenophanes
Emeritus
January 19th 2011


10611 Comments


You probably will. I'm the minority here.

And xyxy, thanks, but this isn't nearly big enough to warrant a feature. We've got new Destroyer, Iron & Wine, and probably someone else coming up.

PinkBlackberry
January 19th 2011


2346 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Unfortunately I am a poor lowly student so I go on download sprees. That I am Alaska CD is fucking seeeexy. omg

FigNewtns
January 20th 2011


723 Comments


summary is gooood

what i've heard of this is decent, but incredibly stagnant. i'd like to see where they go from here tho.

TREO5
January 20th 2011


1071 Comments


Is it better than a day in a life? I am digging that shit right now, Proletariat is siiiiiiiiiiiiiiick.



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