The Long Decline
On their press release, The Long Decline describes their music as "F*cked up folk for f*cked up folk." It's a funny statement and one that holds true most of the time on the album, although sometimes the group loses all track of what they're doing and fall into more of an annoying category than anything else. When I hear the group, I'm reminded of a slightly drunken band of Irish people getting together and banging on instruments for awhile and recording the whole mess of it.
This light approach actually works for many of the tracks and the disc starts out on a high note with two very catchy songs. The first track "Words Of Wisdom" is only a minute and a quarter long, but it drags you in for the first minute with some interesting instrumentation and lolling vocals before it completely busts loose for the last 15 seconds and vocalist Kenny Wisdom spits out a jig. The long second track "My Story Is Over," is an almost 6 minute epic of a track that moves along in a steady but sure manner with plucked guitars and somewhat snide vocals by Baker again.
The group hits sort of a stumble on the third track "Beat It Boys (You're Really Jerks)." While it's meant to be funny with it's 15 dollar keyboard effects and male/female vocals, it instead just grates on your nerves with tinny sound and completely sophomoric lyrics. Going back to more of a sound used on the beginning tracks is the pretty "October" on which a violin, mandolin, and banjo add even more instrumental flavor. Possibly the best track on the album is when the group adds a touch of guitar feedback to their more traditional sound on "A Hotel Room In Wisconsin." It's more layered sounding and solid than the following tracks when the group goes into more of a lo-fi sound (that works in varying degrees).
Things close out with the silly "My Mama Wouldn't Let Me Play With Dolls" before the album ends on the very long title track. It's a totally fun way to end things and the lightness of the recording process can be heard with people laughing in the background and overall loose feeling of the track. The style of the disc in general is one of the same feel and will probably appeal to those who enjoy music that sounds like it could be pouring out of an Irish pub just before closing time.