Lead Hands
Lead Hands


3.0
good

Review

by Elijah K. STAFF
January 18th, 2011 | 20 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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user ratings (234)
Chart.
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
Muzik Dizcovery Reviews (3.5)
Decoder creates a technically great, but monotonous debut album....


Comments:Add a Comment 
bloc
January 18th 2011


35420 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

YES I AM NOT ALONE

Tyrael
January 18th 2011


20989 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


9137 Comments


lol'd @ summary.

noice review bro

Digging: CZARFACE - Every Hero Needs a Villain

Irving
Staff Reviewer
January 18th 2011


7374 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


20989 Comments


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

Should be

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*

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


20989 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.

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


739 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.

sexpoi
January 20th 2011


606 Comments


this sounds not bad i'll give it a listen


PinkBlackberry
January 20th 2011


2346 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Honestly. "To elude the..." is a much better and cohesive release, in my opinion. That being said they're both very good, but the sound they attempted originally comes across a lot less forced, and it's natural progression over-all is a lot smoother, and more fun.



and the guitar has a lot of jazzy aspects which makes it that much more of a treat to listen too. And the drumming, aahhhhh, it all meshes so nicely.



I also like his voice. It's very Ant Green like, not the pitch, but more-so the almost on a scream but not quite aggressive without sounding like he is trying too hard to BE aggressive. It's all very well done..that's pretty much the point I am trying to get across. I just wish they had a LP out so I could actually see what they can achieve with more track-length and more room.

sexpoi
January 24th 2011


606 Comments


^this intrigues me more

TREO5
January 26th 2011


1071 Comments


i found a hard copy of to elude, they have their own online store got it off of there for five bucks for those interested.

iFghtffyrdmns
February 6th 2011


7047 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Phenomenal review, have a pos.

I definitely agree with what you said about all the tracks bleeding together after awhile, there's not too much in here to set it apart in its genre, although I still think it's a generally likable listening experience.



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