There's always going to be a certain charm in the imitation of the classic No Wave, shoegaze, and noise rockers. Here in the midst of early 2011, anybody interested in Sonic Youth will almost undoubtedly have listened to My Bloody Valentine, Dinosaur Jr., and hopefully gotten around the Teenage Jesus & the Jerks, DNA, Mars, and The Contortions. From there, you either can explore the pedigree of German rock (Krautrock classics like Can, Neu!, Faust, etc.) or explore American and British loudness further. The point of all this tracing and generalization, you ask? Well, to provide a brief (and oft overused and tread upon) historical sense/framing mechanism for The Megaphonic Thrift and their Decay Decoy long player. Surely any review or mention of such auditory heavyweights will arouse the ears of the adventurous to some call to arms in an act of solidarity to check this album out, right? Well, that ought to happen, but let's be honest here , imitation will always be the sincerest form of flattery.

That isn't to say that what the Thrift is doing is purely rooted and extant as a form of imitation, a sort of "music desiring-machine" that merely regurgitates in the quest for completion. Rather, Decay Decoy amalgamates all the myriad influences of the collective quartet and folds, spindles, and genetically recombines the bare essences in some modernized housing. For you guitar freaks there's plenty of versatile work from Tim Gane strumming to Harry Pussy thrash attacks of frenzied anger (but not for the entire song), and for you various rhythmic-oriented minds you'll be elated by the almost disturbingly metronomic post-post-rock that could almost be out of a classic Klaus Dinger jam (see the absolutely sublime single fodder of 'Talks Like A Weed King', a song that needs to be put onto a 45 rpm immediately) and the solid foundation of a typical driving bass line that tends to be the de rigueur for this release. Of course, there must be some semblance of lacking with such lofty goals to be attained. 'Neues,' for instance, is promising enough at first but soon devolves into a near parody of the loud dynamic overload of MBV or even Autolux (chorus time all the time with this one). As should be patently obvious, each comparison here is hardly a yardstick to be used, if that were the case, we'd be dealing with far too large a measurement. Rather, The Megaphonic Thrift always skirt the edges of their influences, wearing each sonic signifier as a simultaneous scar and badge, the scrapper's black eye.

Given the relatively moderate length of this album, an admirable 43:19, it's easy enough to bypass some of the lesser moments or even ditch mid-song, but that does a further disservice. Each song needs to build to its full size and with an average length of 4:15 or so, that's enough time to either get into the song or decide to just ride it out. It's a conundrum more often than a pleasure, each neuron battling another to come to a synthesis. Uncommon as it is for this, it added to the experience at times, mind ablaze whilst the music pounded away, an exhilaration unknown was what arose during the top moments of this album ('Weed King,' 'Candy Sin,' 'You Saw The Silver Line,' 'Queen Of Noise'), while a mild displeasure to disappointment materialized during the lesser and more down moments of the album. Overall, it's comparable to J'Accuse Ted Hughes in an album format instead of a live side-long event. Again, this is not to use as a yardstick but rather a true comparison of the feelings experienced during the running time of Decay Decoy.

Now, all that being said, I have no idea of how this album comes off at the end of this review. I can hopefully give a better idea of the way it feels by attempting to reconcile everything as a number that is fitting for my feeling, a feeling that rides the middling line between pleasantries concerning the completely inoffensive and, dare I say it, enjoyable audio and the surprisingly middling tendency of the song crafting's tendency to waver between brilliance and banality.

Photobucket