Wednesday 19 December 2012

Attack Decay - Attack Decay

Album review by KevW

Well this is a weird one. Attack Decay is a new project by US musician Beardo, someone we know little about, except that if his website biography is correct he was born in Harlem, was named by a drunk and moved to LA to make music. Whether Attack Decay is a band or a solo effort he doesn't say, but he/they could now be based in Philadelphia (according to Facebook) or still in LA (according to SoundCloud) and have recorded and released this eponymous album as a free download. It could be a one-off, it could be the start of a new musical venture, your guess is as good (in fact probably better) than ours. Not being familiar with the work of Beardo we also don't know if this is a departure or a continuation of his regular sound. Everything's very vague.

It's not just the facts about the band that are a little mysterious. Is this record being ironic? Is it deadly serious or is it something entirely different? First track 'Rockin Roll' is simply a lengthy list of musicians ranging from Johnny Cash to Michael Bolton to Mick Jagger to Gary Glitter. It reeks of goofy irony but underneath it all is a decent indie-rock track. Surely 'This Is The New Wave' is an ironic take on music from the post-punk era but done for fun, almost as a pastiche, and it accurately apes many of the sounds from that period, this one can't be serious. Then things turn sour on 'The Sound Of Young America' (love and peace, war, disease, oil spills, fish deceased... you're looking at the lights shining from the nuclear sites... that's the sound of young America"). 'Africa' does sound like a serious message and makes use of tribal percussion for a homage to a continent that's been heavily exploited by the west.

It's hard to pinpoint exactly what the goal of the band is, if indeed there is one at all. 'Pretty Girl' is a chugging, slightly cosmic take on people who are overly materialistic and the perils of not being cool enough. This concept is taken a step further on 'Fashion', essentially a cousin of 'Rockin' Roll' but with art gallery openings, designers, models and champagne taking the place of the rock stars. A dorky, crude love song appears in the shape of 'When I Think Of You' (when I think of you, I always want to screw"). 'Space' is surely a parody, a novelty record even, it's almost as though Attack Decay can't decide whether to be the Tenacious D of indie or to use humour and music to put forward more serious critiques of modern society. In the end we're left to conclude that 'Attack Decay' is as much about frustration with the world as anything else, as is best exemplified on 'Believe'. It's definitely an odd album, but you have to admit that whatever you make of its mixed messages there are a several points well made.

Download the album for free:

Attack Decay's website

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  1. Interesting review. I may have to check this album out. Wasn't he in a music video called John Lennon?

  2. I couldn't tell you! If you head to his website you'll find is Twitter and Facebook pages. Maybe give him a message on one of those. He's new to me.