Monday, October 06, 2008

Music Monday: Decyfer Down Crash EP

As I mentioned last Monday, I have recently received several new pre-releases from INO Records and I asked your opinions on what I should review first. Most people said they wanted to hear about Sara Groves' new Christmas album, with other people also wanting reviews on Decyfer Down and Building 429. Since the Decyfer Down EP is only three songs long, I decided to hit it first. Next will come Sara Groves and then Building 429. We'll see if I get the Disciple review out, since there was no interest from my normal readers (last chance to speak up if you want to see a review!).

For those of you unfamiliar with this relatively new band, here is something of an introduction to Decyfer Down. Their first album, End of Grey, released in 2006 and was generally well-received with a few hits but less enthusiasm from the critics. Some may ask about their name - this is from their website, telling how they chose the name:

Decipher means "to interpret," and the moniker Decyfer Down fit perfectly, as the band aimed to interpret truth based on God's Word while stripping it down from religious traditions and terms. States Josh, "We're simply out to give a positive message of hope that has truth streaming all the way down the middle of it."
They are getting ready to release their sophomore album in early 2009 and, in preparation, they have put out this three song EP with songs "Crash", "Best I Can", and "Now I'm Alive" (now available on iTunes). "Crash", the driving titular song, has already hit the radio and jumped to #1 on Radio and Records' Christian Rock chart. (listen to "Crash" on the player below)

Overall, I've got to say that I enjoy listening to Crash. Yes, I can see the critics complaints from End of Grey, that Decyfer Down is more a sound-alike band than an innovator in the genre. But I'm not sure if that is a fair basis for judgment as, ultimately, all music gets grouped into a genre because of similarities in sound. And perhaps the metal, or nü-metal, genre has a greater proclivity towards using the same sounds as many groups present similar music (to my ear). Regardless the music can be well enjoyed and I think that the work on the Crash EP shows maturation in the band's writing and style. Listing to "Crash" in my car I can't help but roll down the windows and crank up the volume, letting this 35 year old engineer pretend to remember his days as a drummer in high school whose musical motto was "loud, fast, and thrashin'!" And I don't care what the people in the car next to me think.

The other songs on the EP, while not as driving, are good listens. "Best I Can" can be considered the "ballad" of the EP, with lyrics that tell of the typical feelings of failure and guilt common to those who are not sinless but seek God's perfection, and talking about that to others. The third song, "Now I'm Alive" could almost be an answer to the failure felt in "Best I Can" as they sing about seeing what they can be and coming alive.

In the end, I can't place Decyfer Down as one of the top in their genre, but their music is worth listening to and enjoyable. With lyrics that are much more straight-forward in their Christian themes than many others in the genre they can likely find a more ready audience for their music (as opposed to, say, a P.O.D.). If you like the nü-metal genre you may well enjoy Crash, and as an EP it is a small, worthwhile monetary investment to find out more about the band. You can download the EP through iTunes and look for the full album release in 2009.

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~Erin said...

Thanks! I'm heading to itunes now, Doug will love this album :)

Anonymous said...

01. Moving On
02. Crash
03. Fading

Anonymous said...

The new lead singer isn't what I was expecting. I liked the old singer much better but unfortunately he had to go. You can't find the old EP anywhere now. It's just the new guys music. =/

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