Smile Politely

Album Review: Decibully’s Decibully

For the past few years Decibully hasn’t gotten around much. Growing older, having families and working on other ventures (musical or otherwise) has relegated the band to sparse performances, mostly in Wisconsin. Which is unfortunate for those of us in Central Illinois, because in the past two years Decibully has created some highly creative and stimulating music.

The band’s most recent, a self-titled effort released on April 5, progresses from their self-released 2009 effort World Travels Fast. It’s filled with rich layers of sound: walls of synthesizers and distorted guitars that quickly drop out to an acoustic guitar and a mid-tempo drumbeat with William Siedell’s howling vocals eclipsing the background tracks. Decibully’s sound is a sort of lite-progressive with elements of folk rock careening through the noise.

Decibully is a stunning album, really an interesting piece of work to listen to from start to finish. Certainly one of the better last albums I have heard.

Yes, I said last album. Lost among the static of internet was the announcement that with the release of this album (and one final show in Milwaukee) Decibully would be calling it quits. I hesitate to call it a shame Decibully will no longer play together, because I honestly wish the guys the best in whatever they do next.

Champaign-natives may know Decibully from their performances at past Pygmalion Festivals, for their two-album stint on Polyvinyl Records or because keyboardist Nick Sanborn played bass for local darlings Headlights. But if anyone missed the boat on Decibully, it is never too late to catch up.

Just because the band isn’t playing live anymore doesn’t mean the music is no longer worth listening to. This latest album is proof-positive their music is meant to endure. The album starts with a whisper on “I Want,” building up, growing in instrumentation and complexity. The album reaches its apex during the seventh song, “Forever,” when Seidel’s falsetto wails over heavy guitar and percussion. The album comes down slowly, like a good book, before a beautiful, harmonized crescendo on “Been There Before.”

I am especially partial with “Bang Bang,” “Blood We Bleed” and “Forever” (full disclosure: I recorded the band doing versions of those songs during the short time I ran my own blog), but I thoroughly enjoy Decibully as a whole. The album, along with World Travels Fast, is available for download at Listening Party for whatever price you feel comfortable paying.

Though I enjoy a concert as much as anyone, don’t let the fact you can’t see Decibully live anymore turn you off. This band deserves to be listened to, and you deserve to listen to this band.

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