29th July 2016 - Ghoulish Records
01. Black Mountain Radio
04. Crazy Nights
08. A Meze
10. Live By The Axe
It’s hard-hitting, catchy, riff-heavy albums like The Decoy’s debut that bring something familiar for almost any listener. Comparable with the work of bands such as Lower Than Atlantis and Biffy Clyro, Avalon is littered with vocal counter-melodies, warming harmonies and fantastic instrumental unison from start to finish. The South Wales trio have been growing patiently since their formation, and you can bet they’re going to take the tech and math scene by storm, following in the footsteps of the massively respected Press To Meco.
Avalon opens with “Black Mountain Radio”, a reference to one of the Fallout video game series’ wasteland radio stations. The track boasts impressive technical ability, huge vocals and about fifty different time and feel changes. It’s a fantastic example of the general sound of Avalon; setting the bar perfectly, and feeling like a journey through some sort of a musical labyrinth. There are occasional problems with albums that are only good for the first or second half – particularly with debuts – but Avalon starts as it means to go on: strong and memorable.
“Cold” is the band’s latest single, and an amazing choice: showing off their incredible songwriting ability. For those listeners that were fans of pop-punk and alt-rock growing up, the album’s more ‘single appropriate’ songs, “Cold” included, manage to retain the genre’s typical catchy qualities with which math rock and tech don’t usually bother.
“Kids” hits the middle of the album with a strange, carnival-esque opening riff; a massive split from what we’ve heard already on Avalon. While the mostly-calm track ebbs and flows through anthemic harmonies and gang chants, slightly discord guitar lines and big chords, The Decoy’s much-established sound is still massively prominent. There are times where predominantly heavy bands can screw up those attempts at writing a stadium filler, but “Kids” nails it, and it wouldn’t sound at all unusual blasting from the open ceiling of Wembley Arena.
Closer “Live By The Axe” is almost four minutes of tight instrumentation and weird vocal lines. They have have truly earned their stripes in the tech scene, and wouldn’t be out of their depth playing on a bill with almost any band, from This Town Needs Guns, to Arcane Roots, Protest The Hero or Haken.
With a professional, cock-sure sound, The Decoy have shown promise, making damn clear that the UK aren’t ready to give up their incredible history of music. Taking influence from a number of vastly different bands and musicians, their sound is one that differs with every song, but never strays too far from that opening track. Suitable for line-ups spanning from Reading and Leeds Festival, to our very own UK Tech Fest, The Decoy seem primed and ready for anything that’s thrown at them, and we’re behind them all the way.