Decoy - re​:​selection (EP Review)

Not for the faint-hearted, Decoy are a Baton Rouge hardcore outfit that brings the intensity up to 11 on their recent EP, re:selection. The band are made up of the tortured and ostensibly possessed vocals of Jonah Smith, the shredding guitars of Matt Rumfellow and Bobby Burnette, the grounding and always serpentine bass of Chris Rumfellow and the drums of Lucien Champton, which are as mindbending as they are heartstopping; full of double-kick rattles and hi-hat wizardry. Decoy are a well-balanced unit. Having been playing together since 2017, they have adjusted to each other's strengths and all elements sound like they're in their correct place, quite a feat when considering the raucous construction. This EP was admirably engineered, mixed, and mastered by Kyle Eroche at Lantern Light Recordings in New Orleans. The sound is bright and punchy, but crucially, not compressed to the gills.  

Comprising of three, roughly three-and-a-half minute, tracks the EP might appear like a relatively short listen. However, the songs are beefed up with aggression and hyperaccelerated with fury, and this electric-chair shock to the system benefits from being presented succinctly. Thematically, the songs follow similar misanthropic intentions. "Personality Program" highlights the grotesque nature of how smartphones are replacing individuality, ("Can you remember the last time you were truly free? Entranced by the modem through the LED."). Perhaps the highlight of this EP, "SMG", is a complex and puzzlesque cut that highlights the futility of pain with true nihilistic vigour ("A flesh-filled carcass staring back at me") and features an emotionally effective moment of emo singing amidst its otherwise brutalist structure. Meanwhile, "Natural Selection" is a tirade against the cruelty of nature and the pains of having to live in a society ("There’s only one way to know who’s valuable. The way you took the pain was laughable.") This nuclear burst of energy is complimented by twisted guitar licks and passages of enthusiastically unpredictable time signatures. 

re​:​selection by Decoy is a convincing argument from a band that sounds like they're playing with something to prove. The aggressiveness is not without finesse, and the songs are cathartically relevant for these highly anxious and spiritually shallow times.