You always want a first time listening experience to move you and keep you on your toes the entire time. Well, that’s exactly what you get when you listen to Welsh rockers The Decoy’s newest EP, Parasites.
In the span of four songs, ranging from anywhere between one minute and 40 seconds to four and a half minutes, you are taken on a musical journey to places you never knew existed. The Decoy perfectly execute a jolting mixture of alternative rock with the occasional sampling of pop punk and 80s rock.
Parasites opens with “Moustache Cash Dash,” which, for the record, has yet to fail at making me smile. The song is less than two minutes and right away hits you with a partially a capella intro that glides into one impressive vocal display by Lewis Barber. They’ve given themselves a very short amount of time to make an impression, and decided to lay it all out in front of us within the first 20 seconds. There’s an extremely catchy back and forth performance between Barber on guitar and bassist Joel Williams in the first verse which counteracts drummer Luke Blake matching beats with Barber’s vocals in the chorus. Just be prepared to play catch up with song during the first few listens. Everything is happening so quickly that it’s hard to keep up at first, and before you know it, the song is over. You get a couple instances of Barber’s incredible scream vocals, and then it’s back to normal. Kind of a blink and you miss it kind of thing.
The title track expands on the feel you get from “Moustache Cash Dash.” It clocks in at four minutes and 34 seconds, and you get more time to enjoy the different elements that come and go throughout the song. The tone of the song can be chopped up into three segments – dreamy and distant, poppy alternative rock, and hard rock with passionate screams. Each of these segments are rotated around during the track. The biggest standout for me is how flawlessly executed the vocal transitions are. There are moments when Barber is up in a higher range, sometimes a falsetto, and immediately goes into a scream. I just wish the instrumentals transitions were as flawless. The song changes key so quickly that the transitions tend to be a bit choppy rather than smoothly fading from one to the next.
“Vultures” is the third track, and while it’s my favorite, it’s also the most chaotic and confusing. The content and the instrumentals are practically the opposite of one another. The lyrics have the vibe of a pop punk love song, but the music doesn’t convey that message whatsoever. I mean, there’s moments where the pop punk style wants to shine through, but is quickly overpowered by a more heavy alternative sound. This stylistic mixture makes for a very interesting listen. And once you add those elements to lyrics that are full of confidence and cockiness, this song really stands out amongst the rest.
The EP closes with “ANDYOUISM,” the heaviest and roughest track. This is a newer version of a song that was posted to Barber’s SoundCloud page two years ago, and woah, did they change it. The older version is very electronic, while the Parasites version is raw and drops that “computer” sound. The passion that is brought forth is stunning, and there’s an anger and darkness that’s present and amplified with a muffled vocal effect. I can definitely see this being the song that draws in a crowd.
To hear more from The Decoy or to get yourself a copy of Parasites, you can purchase a CD here.
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