Context makes a world of difference. When firing their fierce blasts of punk through two inadequate PA speakers to an attentive crowd at a local park recently, Decahedron sounded like an unstoppable visionary force, a worthy new outlet for the creative talents of some of post-hardcore?s finest: Shelby Cinca and Jason Hamacher of Frodus and Johnathon Ford of Roadside Monument. They were ruthless, spitting out riff after searing riff and yelling inflammatory political prose into static-riddled microphones, which only enhanced the effect.
On CD, however, the songs somehow lose some of their gritty, revolutionary edge. Recording often hinders the expression of such primal musical outbursts. Then again, it could be that I was simply expecting a Frodus II to release something of a proper follow-up to 2000?s magnificent And We Washed Our Weapons in the Sea. Truly, the first song on Disconnection_Imminent, ?Delete False Culture,? indulges my fantasies by giving me exactly what I had hoped for: dark, angular guitars, mathy drums and Shelby Cinca?s voice (both melodic and atonal, as put forth on And We Washed...). The dream carries over to track 2, ?No Carrier,? where the band offers more of the same.
The energy fizzles out a bit after that. Perhaps former bassist Joe Lally (of Fugazi), who plays on the album, has something to do with my perception of difference on this album. There are some slower, more repetitive grooves here that initially met with some skepticism on my part. Certainly, And We Washed... had its share of slow grooves, but the grooves on Disconnection_Imminent seem somehow icier and more mechanized. They tend to grow on the listener after a spell, however, and the wider spaces serve to direct more attention toward Cinca?s careful commentary.
?Not These Homes? has my vote for the album?s best song. It?s fast-paced, screamy, unpredictable and full of great guitar lines. The lyrics, directed toward a certain president, are brief but scathing.
There?s nothing at all wrong with this album, actually. It only seems lesser when caught in the towering shadows of Frodus and Decahedron?s own propulsive live show. In fact, as I continue to listen to this album, I can?t imagine it sounding any other way. Cinca, Hamacher and company have crafted a fine set of songs for their return to the music world. And, despite the inevitable pouting of Frodus-heads like myself, it?s good that Cinca and Hamacher have decided to try new things. The addition of Ford is sure to add some new layers to the Decahedron sound, as well, and I, for one, cannot wait to see where the band goes next. 8/10 -- Chris Skillern (25 May, 2005)