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Time To Shine
Released: 2011, Unsingned
I Decline is a well-known underground band from Chicago, that formed over a decade ago and TIME TO SHINE is their third release. Bio info, reviews, and promo materials all label I Decline as stoner metal, and I suppose the thick sludge of the guitars does impart a certain stoner flavor. However, the band leans far more towards modern main stream rock with admittedly, some nods to classic rock and Queens Of The Stone Age.
I guess I am getting old, because I do not equate this to the stoner metal of yore. Perhaps because it is too uplifting or just in some places, not all that aggressive. I equate this to a more diluted product that passes for metal in America these days, granted with more punch and better vocals than the Emo style that is so prevalent. TIME TO SHINE is an album that gets better as it goes. The title track opener starts things off with promise, unleashing a fast moving power chord fest and a fairly catchy chorus followed by a nice wah-wah inflected solo. Clocking in at just over two minutes, it is a compact and effective track. The next couple of tunes lose some of the momentum of the opener, embracing a far more mainstream and radio-friendly sound that is more noticeable in the vocals than in the music. “A New Nation” rights the ship somewhat, sounding like a heavier version of Everclear but those unmistakable and safe-for-radio vocals are still present in places which is unfortunate. But damn man, then a kick ass song like “Your Name In Blood” comes along, fulfilling the stoner sludge promise of the opening track. To me, this is how the entire album should have sounded, and you hear the immense potential here when the commercial leanings are removed (namely, the safe vocals are replaced with some aggression)! The two tracks that follow ain’t bad either and on “World Burning Down”, some of the vocals recall Tommy Victor of Prong.
While there are certainly some problems with this album, to be sure there are some fine qualities on TIME TO SHINE as well. These positives are namely the pummeling and clear production, and the instrumental prowess of the band, each member confidently wielding his instrument with conviction. Deft and tasteful harmonies are layered within the crunch, and as I mentioned the second half of the album is where you can hear the heavier, more aggressive side of the band minus one respectable ballad. The band tackles the 9/11 theme, a continuously growing, yet tired subject that clearly will continue to be the focus of the current generation, equating to the Vietnam theme running through the music of so many 80s and 90s bands. Complaints aside, this is a band with considerable promise. Yeah, I could do without some of the commercial underpinnings, but I have heard a whole lot worse and in places this is quite heavy. Fans of Trouble, Queens Of The Stone Age, and Monster Magnet should enjoy TIME TO SHINE.
01 Time To Shine
02 The Administration
03 Radiation Day
04 A New Nation
05 Grand Ruin
07 Your Name in Blood
08 Face Of Death
09 Her Darkness
10 World Burning Down
12 Rejoice, Lament
Pat McLaughlin - Bass, Vocals
John "Dole" Doyle - Drums, Vocals, production
Mike "Pez" Pesavento - Guitar, Smokes
Dustin Decline - Vocals, Percussion
Dan Dominiak - Lead Guitars
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