01. Retract The Altitude
02. Right By Your Side
03. Your Scars Never Heal
04. Fell The Sting From The First Bite
05. Can't Help You There
06. Drowning In A Sea Of Shit (reprise)
07. Drowning In A Sea Of Shit
08. My Words, My Voice
09. This Song: Will, Fuck You
10. Hypocrites, Be Alive Again
11. I Want Out Of This
12. City Of Angels
13. Let The Heavens Swallow Me Up
14. Dead Under Decor
2006 Abacus Recordings
I didn't know what to expect from this album, but I'm surprised nonetheless. With Dead Under Decor, Bleeding Kansas lays down some seriously abrasive, angular hardcore. This is the type of record that I can listen to and hear something new every time. There seems to be little parts that jump out of the songs and demand the listener's attention.
For those unfamiliar with this band, Bleeding Kansas plays a heavy, upbeat style of hardcore, which is filled to the brim with dynamics. At the core of their song, there are some serious influences from The Jesus Lizard and Helmet, but there is a lot more going on than just that. Some of the heaviest parts are reminiscent of Botch, yet there are many moments where Bleeding Kansas stands completely on their own. I'm hearing a strong rock and roll swagger to all these songs, even with some of the impressive technical guitar-work. I really like the quirky drum patterns under the stop-start riffs, and there are some killer chord progressions, ala Botch. These guys aren't afraid to simplify their songs, get straightforward, and lay down some serious groove. There are some cool bass runs that carry a few songs, while the guitars pick out some strange, but heavy, melodies. A couple of songs have some big breakdowns, but these are definitely not overused. At just a couple of points, there will be some mellower moments that have intricate guitar picking, but this is very subdued. These songs pack an especially extra punch when they jump back into the full distortion.
The production, courtesy of Kurt Ballou, brings out a gritty, thick sound throughout Dead Under Decor. The vocals are harsh, and throaty, but not very dynamic. I think it would be interesting to hear these songs with more variety in the vocals. Select songs have some strong group vocals as well, which adds some slight differences.
My biggest complaint with this album is the fact that a couple of songs seem to wander off, with no particular direction. More specifically, some riffs start to transition into parts that sound like they just don't fit the overall feeling of the song. Thankfully, this doesn't happen very often.
Bottom Line: I'm quite impressed with Dead Under Decor. Bleeding Kansas should get some recognition for bringing some original ideas to the table. With 14 songs clocking in at almost 40 minutes, I would say that you'll get 'bang for your buck' on this album. People who enjoy bands like Engineer, Lords, and Akimbo could definitely enjoy this album.