Dekoder - Between The Waking And The Dying (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


Between The Waking And The Dying (2012)

Chaos Rurale

One of the more surprising musical trends in punk/hardcore during 2012 was the resurgence of the death rock subgenre. Montreal's Dekoder play the kind of post-punk that is easy to identify as following that trend, but Between The Waking And The Dying is hardly just regurgitating stale genre cues. It is a completely immersive record that leaves the skip button in a distant and murky land that one's fingers shall never enter as long as the record plays.There are only eight songs on Between The Waking And The Dying, and it lasts a little over half an hour, so while these aren't your three-minute pop songs they aren't exactly exhaustive epics either. The structure Dekoder tend to rely on is one of tension and release, as well as repetition to hook you in without much in the way of actual hooks at all.

To say that the record reaches more for mood and atmosphere rather than bold statements would probably be correct. However, when I hear a band described as atmospheric it usually tends to mean their songs are oversaturated with feedback and effects. While Dekoder do use some effects, they creep to the forefront sparingly, only becoming noticeable in order to accent certain parts of the whole of the song, such as when the vocals kick in around the one minute mark on "Shadow Figures." The opening guitar on "Like Men" is so bright and familiar that the transformation into the main body of the song which epitomizes feelings of despair becomes even more unsettling - in the best way possible. This is far from cheap thrills but it also resists obscurity for obscurity's sake. The vocals, which tie everything together, are the kind of soaring near-croon Siouxsie Sioux made famous, and that suit the genre perfectly, whether it's the frantic "Anxiety" or the slow burning "What's Left."

If you are at least remotely a fan of post-punk or death rock you have to czech Between The Waking And The Dying, or even if you want to hear some of the best punk related tunes made in 2012. If this rubs you the wrong way, you are probably the type of person that loves the smell of their own bodily functions.