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A Decade Behind 

A Decade Behind (www.myspace.com/adecadebehind)

"Liftoff," A Decade Behind's story of a rocket blast-off, begins with a tense moment: a noise collage of control-room recordings, ominous bass lines, and fractured guitars. Will the fuel lines ignite? The answer (no) comes eight excruciatingly repetitive minutes later, offering little justification for the initial buildup. This coed duo from Cleveland attempts many styles simultaneously, and as the ridiculous black-metal/blues take on "House of the Rising Sun" best exemplifies, most don't fit.

The band would do better churning out decent punk tracks like the album openers "Zombie King" and "Treat." But the insipid hipster pose of "Dirty Snow" and its ridiculous lyrics kill the disc's momentum. Later, players Michele McBride and Robert O'Lexa fuse ethereal keyboards with military drumbeats, and a closing acoustic ballad increases the confusion. The disc displays potential, but the disjointed mess feels like a lesson on how quickly ambitious music can degenerate into artsy-fartsy esotericism.

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