Static Radio NJ - An Evening of Bad Decisions..... (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Static Radio NJ

An Evening of Bad Decisions..... (2008)

Black Numbers

On Static Radio NJ's previous EP, One for the Good Guys, the band played some adequate renditions of rapid-fire melodic hardcore straight out of the Yemin playbook. For the followup full-length, An Evening of Bad Decisions....., SRNJ step back, take a breath and inject a wealth of melody and more clean singing, and it's actually a great decision.

While this essentially means Decisions is more Lifetime and less Kid Dynamite, the band is all the better off for it. And there seems to be a bit of Chunksaah-era Bouncing Souls to the New Brunswick band's method, plus things are entirely more heartfelt sounding. You can attach a specific emotion or feeling to each track, pretty much. Just analyzing the first trio of songs Decisions offers, opener "Marc" is a clearly fun romp, "Bothered" the angry followup and "Green Hoody" pleasingly earnest -- it's no "Theme for a New Brunswick Basement Show," but the last of these three really stand out on the record.

In "Statelines," the band charge forward with those urgent, bouncy chords and it's more proof how well they wear their influences; however, it's also an insistent forward rush that really works, and they know to throw in an abruptly restrained riff to give the song a little dynamism. Even a dumb lyric like that which starts off "Wake Up" ("Can you repeat that again? I missed the part about being a fucked up, stupid bum") becomes amusingly silly and memorable. A cameo on "In Your Dreams" from Seasick's Nick Laskowski makes for a noticeable moment, too.

Despite the terribly phoned in artwork to their first full-length (purposely botched Xerox job?), Static Radio's slightly shifted focus has resulted in a more efficient and definitively accomplished style.