Decades – Numbered


Decades play traditional American hardcore with melodic tendencies. This Dallas-area band’s debut EP, Numbered, paces through 6 tracks of mediocrity. The music is loud and the band is tight enough, but on this disc, Decades execute songs like each part is compulsory. The effect is uninspiring.

Every new indie band must compete with a million other new indie bands for an audience, and modern hardcore fans are perhaps the most critical audience of all. A band like Decades better sound like they live their music. If they can’t convince listeners of this, then they’re done.

Decades might be great live, but Numbered fails to get the blood pumping.

Opening track “Caravel/Mediastinum” is a slow, lumbering song hampered by a weak guitar lead. The EP’s best song is track 2, “Late Night, No 708”. This stomper aggressively recreates early 1990’s style hardcore with the vocal, “I don’t want a drug or drink to sedate me through the pain of living / I don’t need another miserable song to sit and compare scars with”.

But then the disc gets dull. Monotony kicks in, group shouts sound like yelping dogs, and guitar leads struggle for relevance. The cracking, emotional vocal delivery on “Principles (of Scientific Management)” helps the cause, but simply can’t redeem the Xeroxed music around it. The lyrics on “Looking Out/Looking In” sum it up best: “I sell complaints / Flooding markets with angst filled words to worn out beats in a tired verse”. Sad but true.

Numbered was written on auto pilot. But Decades may show us yet. They tour with good company – something hard to do for a band from an impoverished music scene.