EK Decay

Having reviewed the debut EP by EK Decay I am now afforded the luxury of a full length LP. My biggest concern would be how could they ‘better’ their previous work? I needn’t have worried! The artwork alone for the LP is trademark Punk with the spray-painted logo on a wall. 3 band members adorn gas masks while drummer Jamie is sporting a regulation Mohican! And so to the music.
The album opens with their most potent song yet, the unmistakeable “Corruption”. The new, slightly “paled back” version lacks the urgency of the EP version with its cleaner sound. Production values have been used this time around but the overall message is delivered, loud and clear! Angry, political, a statement of intent!

“Look Around” is next and stays with the political theme. Pollution, animal culling, forest devastation, et al. The echoey guitars and snare-driven intro compliment the angry vocal delivery, while the theme of the song is both personal and political. “No Hope” opens with a great sample and hits the spot with its frenetic hitting and fast-paced guitars. Once again the lyrics don’t lie-the sentiment is clear! The song itself has that early 80’s Punk sound with its sing along chorus and clear, crisp vocal. Definitely one to get a crowd jumping!

EK Decay

“Easy Way Out” carries on in a similar vein with that staple snare sound so prevalent on this collection. One wonders whether this is a story of frustration or a semi-autobiographical recall of one’s past. It contains the rather fine verse “the people say that they wanna riot, but when it comes down they all go quiet!”.

“Smash the System” owes a huge debt to The Ramones in it’s song structure. The chugging guitars and overall tempo of the song, added to the “message” of the title make this a great statement. Whichever your viewpoint; political or personal, the theme here is worn firmly on the sleeves of the writer.

EK Decay

The new stripped back version of “The Pain” I’m not sure carries the potency of the EP version. The vocal seems somewhat strained while the guitars seem at odds with the original. Still a decent song nevertheless, I just feel we were spoilt with the old version. “Freedom” is a fine return to form with those 3rd generation Punk guitars and that accompanying harsh vocal. Midi’s EK vocal twang is very noticeable here and the drums once again are killer. The song has a theme of “Big Brother” and is the perfect 2.5 minute Punk classic with its sharp ending. Another re-working comes in the shape of the Religiously – aware track “The Biggest Lie”. Whereas on “The Pain” they don’t quite nail it, here they do-and some! The vocal seems deeper while the song itself seems a touch faster and echoey, and it’s better for it. The backing vocals sound great on the final verse while Midi’s ‘anger’ remains until the very end.

“Madness” is one of the standout tracks here-if for no other reason than it is the polar opposite of the other songs. The vocals are delivered in a style akin to Ian Curtis-haunting, almost apologetic with strong drums and chords. It’s a sad, morbid song and once again I’m wondering if this is a personal experience or that of a friend or relative. The lyrics are both emotional and personal and you, the listener are left in no doubt about the subject matter. ‘Ununited States’ opens with a great guitar solo of this great nation’s National Anthem. The pleasantries however don’t extend to the rest of the song! The subject matter is an observation of the USA as a political rant. It seems politics as subject matter is a constant theme on this LP, eloquently written and expressed in song. I find the ending a tad self-indulgent but otherwise this is a great tune. When EK Decay wrote a song about a friends suicide one could be forgiven for thinking they’ve taken the “personal” too far. But this is simply a great song. Another great line stands out here – “we never listened to what our parents said, it was Anarchy that we wanted all the time”. The clangy guitars and potent bass, over that great snare sound work so well. And the sample that opens and closes the song is a wonderful accompaniment.
“Stand” is the precursor to the last track on here, Therapy?’s “This One’s For You”. The band must clearly be fans as they haven’t tried to deconstruct or “better” it. Midi has just emulated Andy Cairns vocal here with the band following suit. As Punk debut’s go this does just about ‘everything it says on the tin’! Influences aplenty, politics, attitude, directness, and a cover version thrown in for good measure! If you, the buying public only buy one LP this year; make it this one. This time next year I expect EK Decay to be wowing crowds at Rebellion if nothing else. A confident debut.
Track Listing
Look Around
No Hope
Easy Way Out
Smash The System
The Pain
The Biggest Lie
Ununited States
Suicide Rock
This One’s For You

Review by Ross A. Ferrone.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to MySpace