Decent Criminal - Bloom (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Decent Criminal

Bloom (2017)

Dodgeball Records

Northern California surf punks Decent Criminal are back with their sophomore album Bloom, the follow up to their 2016 self-titled album. This time around the band continues to master their more cooled-off sound, while adding in some seriously powerful tunes in there as well to balance it all out.

The more energetic songs on this record that really stand out are “Deviant” and “Melt.” “Deviant” is where you hear Decent Criminal at their best. Their vocal harmonies are great in this track, but they truly upped their game on the instrumental side as well. The booming guitars and drums in the intro send a massive punch into your ears almost immediately. There is some great use of octaves that follow the vocals at certain points, too. And a little after the guitar solo that vaguely mimics the melody, all three vocalists shout a few lines and then both guitarists play these harmonized fills that are easily one of the highlights, not just of the song, but of the entire record. On the more laid back side of this album are songs such as “Void” and “Storm.” “Void” is one of the tracks where band sort of combines their surf sound with grunge. The soft intro builds into the tension and fuzzy verse and once you think it is about to peak, it actually goes back to where the song started and then. It is a very cool back-and-forth dynamic that the band created. The three-part vocal harmonies, arguably one of Decent Criminal’s strongest points, are the main driving force in “Void” and through out all of Bloom in general. You just get the sense that the band has gotten a lot more confident in their playing and song-writing from this LP.

Once again Decent Criminal have put out an album that really stands out from what we typically get in the current punk scene. This time they upped there musicianship and vocal game which in turn gave their overall sound much more “oomph” and power and it paid off quite well.