Battle of Life
Dropped by Atlantic Records before Battle of Life could be released, Deccatree commendably fought to gain the rights to the album and self-released it via their website and iTunes. Listening to Battle of Life, it’s easy to see why Deccatree got signed and, in the kindest possible sense, it’s also not hard to understand why they were dropped like a hot potato. The band’s alternative take on alternative rock is brave, bold, refreshing and rewarding, but the sheer depth and musicianship evident throughout this record must have left Atlantic executives in a cold sweat as to what they could do with it. But forgetting about industry politics for a moment, there is every reason why you should not ignore what a bunch of so-called music executives failed to see.
Opener “Belong” is eerily reminiscent of Tonic, but don’t mistake The Battle of Life as an album of sound-alike, homogeneous modern rock tunes. Far from it. “Angel” soars with the kind of Beatles-esque melody unheard of in modern rock circles. “You Are” triumphs thanks to the ridiculously infectious guitar riff and melody perfected by ELO. “What If I” has a slightly more straight-ahead feel, recalling at times those masters of the catchy chorus, Vertical Horizon. The stunning “Shallow” has a grand, utterly captivating vibe. “Tonight” recalls Train’s superhit “Drops Of Jupiter,” with its sweeping orchestral arrangements and a simple melody and approach.
Already, you’re probably thinking what I’m thinking: Why didn’t Atlantic release material as stellar and diverse as that on Battle of Life? I wish I had the answer. Deccatree songsmith and singer Chris Karn probably does, too.
The dull, Top-40 dominated pop landscape of 2005 demands a band as unique and as interesting as Deccatree. Do the band and yourself a favour, and support this excellent release.