"Combustion" (Album, 2005)
Out of Line
Currently available from various online retailers at a discounted price, Canadian two-piece Decoded Feedback's latest album was also given out as a freebie at last year's Out of Line Festival in London. All of which creates the distinct impression that (in 2008 at least) there is more than a touch of the bargain basement about this release, a place not known for offering up essential purchases. So if I were to tell you that this was one of the best album's I'd ever heard - you'd probably be somewhat surprised... But you needn't be, because it isn't. It's not terrible by any means but this won't be threatening to knock anything out of anyone's personal Top 10.
I'm reminded, in part, of Mindless Faith's 2004 album Momentum in the combination of synths, guitars, grumbling vocals and trance elements. The titular Combustion is a reasonable attempt at setting out Decoded Feedback's objectives. Not entirely successful mind you, but it's aims are clear. Bubbling basslines and synth driven sequences rather than beat-led harshness confirms a palette that takes in influences from dance music as much as it does industrial. The style of songwriting would benefit from sharper production all too often this sounds a tad muddy. Marco Biagiotti's voice seems inspired to some considerable extent by Front 242's Jean Luc-De Meyer. When even a key industrial genre name like De Meyer can be very hit and miss, it's either a brave or foolish template to adopt. Whilst the voice stops short of the indecipherable and entirely unimaginative harshness that typifies a lot of the EBM/electro sides of things, it never manages to stand out either.
The emphasis on mid-tempo pieces demonstrates that some thought beyond simple attempts to fill club dancefloors has gone into the writing. That's All You Want stands out initially due to a more creative and less aggressive approach, then the voice comes in and they're propper sung vocals too. More like this (and closer Reflection of Sine) would have easily helped set the this above most of its competitors. As it is, this is relegated to an 'also ran' but it would be interesting to hear the results of Biagiotti and Dudas if they could bounce their ideas of a creative producer. 6/10
Rob Dyer (January, 2008)
Official website: http://www.decodedfeedback.com