Album Review: Decibully – World Travels Fast (2009 LP)


Decibully is a Milwaukee based folk-rock band, formed in 2001 by front man and general all-rounder William Seidel. World Travels Fast is their third major release, and their first on new label Listening Party Records. For a relatively young band, they have been heavily lauded thanks to their prior releases Sing Out America! and City of Festivals. This latest album has been a long time in fruition and as such there are high hopes resting on it.

From the first listen, it is clear that Decibully remain in the business of making extraordinarily beautiful records. It is, however, hard to put your finger on what makes them so; is it William Seidel’s understated vocals? Or is it that glorious atmospheric reverb? To be honest it’s probably all of the above, and then some. A record which isn’t overbearing, they haven’t felt the need to over laden the tracks with more instruments than are necessary, leaving the album guitar and percussion driven. That’s not to say of course that there aren’t plenty of instruments in there – someone is even credited with playing the triangle on one track!

This is hard album to pick stand-out tracks from, it’s such a cohesive unit; that being said it lags somewhat near the end, but not to any great degree. The opening track ‘Broken Glass’ is for me a perfect opener, starts off understated and then wham! It hits you. Another favourite is ‘Baby’s Mama’ a Sting-esque tune near the end of the album. It’s a track which highlights Seidel’s vocals well, as well as the versatility of the band as they move into a jazz-esque mode. Another favourite is the final track on the album, ‘If I Don’t Work’ – a thing of reverb filled majesty; again Seidel displays Sting-like vocal tendencies; but beyond that its a brooding piece, which perfectly sums up the bands heart-on-sleeves attitude.

It’s clear that this is an incredibly strong album, one that was definitely worth the three year wait. Any fears that fans would have had following the band being dropped from Polyvinyl will surely have been abated. ‘World Travels Fast’ is available now on Listening Party Records, either on 2xLP vinyl or name-your-price MP3.

Review Score: 9/10


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Simon Clark

Books Editor. An admirer of songs and reader of books. Simon has a PhD in English and Comparative Literature. All errant apostrophes are his own.