Review: Decrepit “s/t” CD

Here's the Polish issue of this defunct Seattle band's complete discography, collecting tracks from their "Tired of Licking Blood From a Spoon" LP and self-titled 7"; plus tracks from split 7"s with Scathed, Phalanx, and Cephlatripe. Decrepit was only around from 1996 - 1999, but apparently they were pretty productive in those three years, as this disc contains damn near 45 minutes of pissed off hardcore/punk with a crusty edge. Like many bands from that time period, their particular approach is dingy and heavy, but it still possess a lot of vocal layering and tradeoffs, alongside lots of energetic tempos and blazing bass runs, all of which ties them more to the punk side of things as opposed to sounding particularly metallic - granted the multi vocal attack does cover a lot of ground from lower grunts and shouts to raspy sneers, all of which are rather acerbic. The only pitfall that the band falls into is one fairly common for such acts: All of the songs sound pretty much the same. They're good at what they do, make no mistake, but pretty much the entire disc is made up of minute-and-a-half-long songs that are on the faster side of things, so everything's pretty much built around those fast power chords and driving basslines without much tempo variation or any real shifts in delivery, which can make even the 10 tracks from the 20-minute LP start to wear thin after awhile. "The Disease Called My Life" is a little more raucous at times, while "Eight Hour Day" has some heavier moments and opener "Extortion" throws in a few tremolo picking metal riffs, then "Life on the Farm" opens with a slightly slower and more bass heavy intro that lends a darker edge to the track and helps it stand out in the end. Elsewhere, "Faces of Death" cranks out a raging bass intro with some unexpected riffing that eases back on the distortion before plowing into more of a surging rhythm that has a heavier sound to it, "Rookie of the Year" also has somewhat of a heavier crunch to some of its rhythms before reverting to the standard approach, "Equal Opportunity Employer" sort of adds a catchy kind of crossover flare to its speeds, and the disc closes with a damn solid cover of Disrupt's "Down My Throat" for good measure. But by and large, without fail, every track ends up landing on those same brands of fast paced power chords and raging vocals, so there's a definite lack of variety overall. I don't really have any issues with the recordings. The LP is pretty bright in terms of its mix, so the dirtiness that's there makes sense and there's a decent balance overall. The bulk of the 7"s give the vocals too much prominence in the mix rather than letting the thicker guitars run the show, and that can be somewhat of a hindrance in some regards, but it's not that big of a deal. The packaging is all done in black and white and includes all of the original record covers and one band photo amidst all of the lyrics in your pretty typical punk looking aesthetic. The vast majority of the lyrics are dealing with blunt socio-political commentary on all of the standard topics from war and the media to drug abuse and the cruel nature of the work cycle, with a select few tracks taking more of a personal stance on general hardships or whatnot. "An armed revolution could be the solution to the problems that we're facing every day. We're trapped inside a system that feeds off acceptance, it seems to have become our only way..." Not bad, there's definitely some great material here, the problem is that beyond the length of a 7" EP the band doesn't have but so much to offer since so many of the songs are basically interchangeable on many levels. So in that case, this collection is probably one more for the diehards who predominantly favor this brand of hardcore/punk over any other form of music.

[Czerwony Diabelek]
Running time - 44:03, Tracks: 24
[Notable tracks: Life on the Farm, Faces of Death, Equal Opportunity Employer, Down My Throat]
Czerwony Diabelek -