Racing Decays

Full Throttle

Written by: PP on 25/07/2009 15:02:04

More and more Danish punk bands are stepping forward and sending us their releases, which is something I'm particularly glad for, as I've set it as one of my personal goals of running this website to get a punk community up and running in a country where the 'scene' is currently on a basement-level, if even that. The next band on the review line is a Copenhagen-based punk / psycho / rockabilly three-piece Racing Decays, who bring to mind acts like Tiger Army, Horrorpops and even The Misfits if you really want to stretch the envelope. They've existed since 2003 as The Horn Of Plenty, but were forced to change name to Racing Decays in 2008 due to a copyright issue with the old name, but if you ask me, the new name's way better anyway.

Racing Decays sing songs about drinking beer, being wasted, and about generally having a good time, which I'm sure all of us Danes can relate to: "Barroom Hero" is a party song about drinking beer, for instance, and "Drunk Man Walking" is a groovy track about being wasted with hilarious lyrics. "Hey" is bound to be a party-starter wherever the track is played thanks to it's relentless pace and bouncy guitar riff, just like "Neighbourhood Chick". There's also a track called "Death Before Disappointment", making me wonder if this track is a reference to hardcore act Death Before Dishonor? It's a decent three chord punk track again characterized by the thumping contrabass on the background. "Good Times" and "Paranoid" are simple, but feel-good three chord punk rockers, acting as perfect examples of the sound Racing Decays are trying to bring forth: party punk with a characteristic contrabass setting the rhythm on the background.

There's just one problem though. The album as a whole suffers from extremely bad production as the constant clicking noise brought by the contrabass pick dominates the soundscape annoyingly, reminding me of the completely failed Tiger Army live performance at West Coast Riot last year that experienced precisely the same problem. I'm relatively sure that this could be fixed in a proper studio though, as a band like The Living End doesn't have this problem at all despite also sporting a contrabass in the mix. But what I'm more worried about is that the clicking sound might be intentional. I get it, some bands like to have it as it is characteristic for the psychobilly genre, but honestly, it just doesn't sound nice at all. It is also the reason why I've reduced one full grade from the overall rating. Furthermore, there's only one guitar most of the time which spends its time on just half a dozen riffs throughout the entire album, leaving many of the songs standing a little thin in content. Many of them could gain from an additional guitar bringing either more strength or an additional line into the songs. Occasional horns and harmonica appear in the mix every now and then, and these are a welcome addition as they make the songs they are in much more interesting. But all negative words aside, the songs in general showcase a lot of promise. Racing Decays have a good ability of writing catchy choruses and funny lyrics, and they clearly don't take themselves too seriously, which is only a good feature. Now the only thing missing is to lift the songwriting to another level, and then we're talking.


Download: Barroom Hero, Drunk Man Walking, Hey
For the fans of: Tiger Army, Horrorpops, The Misfits
Listen: Myspace

Release date 2009

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