12 Songs, 41 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

On its first long-player since 2009’s Crash, Decyfer Down confirms its shift away from post-grunge sounds toward a cleaner, more melodic approach that recalls the muscular radio-friendly rock of Bad Company and Foreigner. Singer/bassist T.J. Harris brings classic rock swagger to his role as frontman of this sturdy North Carolina quartet. As before, Decyfer Down grounds the lyrics on Scarecrow in its unshakable Christian faith. Roiling rhythms and crowd-rousing choruses give “Memory” and “Fight to Win” the feel of instant arena anthems. The band stretches out to deliver an angst-filled waltz (“Bleeding Lies”), dips its toes into Southern-style swamp rock (“The River”), and turns down the volume for a straight-ahead praise ballad (“So in Love”). The most risk-taking moment here is “Westboro”: an angry takedown of church-sanctioned bigotry driven home by the searing guitar work of Brandon Mills and Chris Clonts. Harris snarls, struts, and beseeches his way through these tracks, reaching out to the Spirit as he faces down demons without and within, rocking righteously all the while.

EDITORS’ NOTES

On its first long-player since 2009’s Crash, Decyfer Down confirms its shift away from post-grunge sounds toward a cleaner, more melodic approach that recalls the muscular radio-friendly rock of Bad Company and Foreigner. Singer/bassist T.J. Harris brings classic rock swagger to his role as frontman of this sturdy North Carolina quartet. As before, Decyfer Down grounds the lyrics on Scarecrow in its unshakable Christian faith. Roiling rhythms and crowd-rousing choruses give “Memory” and “Fight to Win” the feel of instant arena anthems. The band stretches out to deliver an angst-filled waltz (“Bleeding Lies”), dips its toes into Southern-style swamp rock (“The River”), and turns down the volume for a straight-ahead praise ballad (“So in Love”). The most risk-taking moment here is “Westboro”: an angry takedown of church-sanctioned bigotry driven home by the searing guitar work of Brandon Mills and Chris Clonts. Harris snarls, struts, and beseeches his way through these tracks, reaching out to the Spirit as he faces down demons without and within, rocking righteously all the while.

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