Deciding Tonight – Cancel Your Reservations
Record Label: Hotfoot Records
Release Date: April 29, 2008
Deciding Tonight pick up post-hardcore’s cargo where bands like Thursday and Hawthorne Heights dropped it off. The band taps into wells of melodic sounding hardcore, plush acoustic-rock and orchestral hooks outletting into channels of intense blazes and balmy sweeps. The transitions are handled smoothly aligning lows and highs snugly. The guitar incisions of Bill Buffa and Thomas Pamponio are the crux of the tracks while the bulging grooves of drummer Joe Love and bassist Chris Pamponio magnify the brawn of the tunage. Thomas’ vocals are husky and bolt through the tracks like searing embers as keyboardist Erik Owen keeps the flint of the infernos burning strong. The band’s latest release Cancel Your Reservations may not take post-hardcore to new heights, but it brings out the genre’s magnetism.
Each track is decked out differently with variations in the chord dynamics and melodic textures, kneading guitar slashes with steep crevasses and taut rhythmic slings in “Empire,” and stems of screamo and neurotic shivers along “Edgar Cayce.” Thomas’ vocals have a gruffy texture in “Soldier’s Leave” coated in soft rock atmospherics while the nimbly teased guitar shreds in “Catastrophe” are shrined by reggae overtones enabling Thomas’s words to penetrate the listener’s mind, “My words trip like hemlock, yeah / They poison and corrode / Kill off any sense that tells you ‘stay away’ / You’re armor has weaknesses / I plan to exploit the breaches / Strip away the steel that keeps you safe / Take off your mask and drop your guard / Let’s find out who you really are.”
The trembling grooves and flustering motions of “A Siren’s Melody” are rough and portly and slim down along the acoustic stumps of “This Armor.” The band loops acoustic and electric elements through “Secrets Crack Ribs” proficiently making patterns that wind-down and whip up instantaneously. The stains made by the hardcore flurries through “The Sailor” intensify the jagged edges in the guitar chords and the bang packed in the drum kicks. The album holsters post-hardcore’s force with shells of acoustic, orchestral, and melodic properties making Deciding Tonight’s new release a part of a wider world of music. This the band’s second release, following their 2005 EP, Intents and Purposes.