Monday, April 18, 2011

Decibully Farewell Record Review

Decibully has covered a lot of sonic ground on their five albums. Largely built around some sacred version of Americana - not quite country, not quite rock 'n roll - Decibully has never shied away from taking an adventurous step into new territory whether it be the spacey sounds dancing along with banjo on "Beyond Hope" from City of Festivals, the irish jigginess of "Megan & Magill" or the straight up, spot on barbershop quartet song "Temptation" from Sing Out America or almost everything from their epic World Travels Fast, Decibully has solidified their sound as only being loosely definable at best.

On their newest, and reportedly final, album, the mid-west's best band take a straight forward approach to the writing and production process. Considering that Decibully has consistently been surprisingly successful with their experimental sound, it is kind of jarring to hear so much restraint, especially after the balls-to-the-walls-of-sound of their last album.

Multi-instrumentalist/producer Ryan Weber said in an interview that the focus was making an album that sounded like the band does live. No fancy post-production tricks, no overdubs.

Almost every song on this album sounds like it would be perfectly comfortable being placed in the middle of one of the band's previous three albums. Song like "I Want" and "A Girl Like Her" sound like they could have been pulled off of City of Festivals. "Ain't Afriad of Nothing" could have been on Sing Out America and "Blood We Bleed", "Forever" and "Been There Before" would fit in nicely on World Travels Fast. However, taken together, these songs are something completely their own.

On its own, Decibully might not be the quintessential Decibully album. But when viewed in the context of the final album from the band, it is a fitting capstone and a treasure of a listen. The song writing has never been stronger and the genuine fun of the band's live show is easy to hear. Decibully is sure to continue making converts long after the band is gone. The only problem is that the album's closer "Been There Before" ends leaving the listener wanting one more for the road.

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