» LATEST FEATURES

LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Decibully
Sing Out America!
Polyvinyl Records

Rating: 5/10 ?


April 4, 2005
I'm not entirely sure which element of Decibully's third album, Sing Out America!, is responsible for its refusal to sit comfortably. Perhaps, given the likelihood that a less-premature summer release would certainly correspond with the album's aura to a greater extent, its timing is to blame. On the other hand, I find the intro to "I'm Gonna Tell You" - which, incidentally, would serve as a more-than-fitting soundtrack to a transitional scene in an old Western movie - difficult to take seriously.

Moreover, there exists an undeniable American-ness, which I'm sure is particularly clear when observed from the semi-neutral perspective of my undeniably British armchair. This mere observation may not be accountable for my unease, but its prevalence has definitely helped shape, and thus mixed my feelings towards Decibully.

Unlike the band's Polyvinyl debut, City of Festivals, Sing Out America! was written by the band as a cohesive septet, and, indeed, it shows. At the hub of their broadening lies a clear Jeff Buckley/alt-country influence, which fills the gaps that the band's sophomore effort left empty and subsequently, Sing Out America! feels comfortable with itself.

My thinking is that this developed self-assurance is down to Decibully's extensive touring regime, during which the band discovered a more accomplished sound, having learnt to incorporate elements brought by each individual member, and consequently, enabling them to produce a recording more consistent with their live show.

However, great records are not determined by consistency alone. Decibully's repertoire, which might sound interesting when observed as a series of unattached snapshots, fails to compliment itself as an album. It almost feels as if they are trying too hard, causing them to come across as somewhat contrived. For every one of William J. Seidel's well-captured high notes, or each of Eric Holliday's neat banjo licks, there runs a cheesy undercurrent that fails to hide itself, making Sing Out America! a tiring listen.

While it would be tough to pick holes in Decibully's competence, Sing Out America! falls disappointingly short of hummable, let alone captivating. It muses over itself, neglecting the charisma essential for a catchy indie-pop record, and as a result, any interest brought about by their playing ability quickly expires.

Reviewed by Mike Wright
A staff writer based in London, England, Mike Wright is eternally troubled by the American bastardization of the English language.

See other reviews by Mike Wright

» MEDIA DOWNLOADS

» GOT STICKERS?

If you'd like to help spread the word about LAS, or simply want to outfit yourself with some adhesive coolness, our 4" circle LAS stickers are sure to hit the spot, and here is how to get them:

--> Send an with $2 in PayPal funds to cover postage. Don't worry, we'll load you up with enough to cover your town. Then just be patient. They will arrive soon.

» WORLDWIDE DOMINATION

LAS has staff and freelance writers spread across North and South America, Europe, and a few in Southeast Asia as well. As such, we have no central mailing adress for unsolicited promotional material. If you are interested in having your project considered for coverage, please contact us before sending any promotional materials - save yourself time and postage!