Soundcheck: decker.’s Slider
BY LAURA THOMPSON —
Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
Best tracks: “Speak in Tongues,” “Weight in Gold Pt. 2”
Psychedelic desert folk (is that even a thing?) comes together well in decker.’s latest installment. This self-proclaimed genre fits decker. perfectly and Slider hits right on point with the description. It’s soulful, spacey and authentic American music. A year in the making, decker.’s new album, Slider, slithers into your veins until you’ve got the itch to move.
The opening track, “Speak in Tongues,” has an addictive drumbeat that marches forth throughout the song. Lead vocalist, Brandon Decker has a twang to his voice that cuts through to the surface of the skin. The vocals lick from beginning to end as the background groove enters the bloodstream. As the beat goes on, the second track, “Interluder,” makes the band live up to its genre. The earthy, psychedelic sound takes the listener to a peaceful place somewhere in the desert, into the tent of a Native American healer after a snake bite. It sucks out the venom and sings a soothing lullaby.
Slider then pounds into the sounds of track three, “Weight in Gold Pt. 1,” a dynamic song that starts out stomping then slows down to a thoughtful, swaying beat. It transfers softly into the soulful, bluesy sounds of the fourth track, “Shadow Days.” With the haunting slide guitar as the backdrop, the vocals move through to dance on the drums of ears. The fifth track, “Blowhard,” comes in to bring the beat back up and keep the blues intact. In track six, “In the Van,” the harmonizing between singers Brandon Decker and Kelly Cole is comforting. Harmonizing with different lines of lyrics is not an easy task, but it works well here. It feels like sitting at a campfire singing old songs with friends. These songs are the meat of the album, but they slow the groove down from the opening track and the album starts to lose momentum.
But when the next track, “Weight in Gold Pt. 2,” comes in, the momentum picks up and that tasty groove is back again. This is definitely one of the highlights of the album. It has the old soul sound and marching beat that feeds the aching heart. As fast as the momentum picked up, it slows down again. This is where the album winds down to come to its close. The last three tracks are pure but they end too slowly. The listener gets upbeat with the seventh track only to be brought down again by tracks eight, nine and 10. It’s a calm close, but almost too calm.
With this new album, decker.’s sound has become one. The band has been previously made up of passing members, but for over a year a core group of musicians have created a steady lineup. That core group has forged a cohesive sound that melds together well. With only ten tracks, Slider tells a strong story. It takes the ear from a drumming march to a psychedelic dream. While the album is exactly what it promises to be, it can be a little slow at times and lose the groove. But it never loses its authenticity or soul.