Review: Decent Criminal – “Bliss”

Bliss, the new 11-song sophomore outing from northern California’s Decent Criminal, is perfectly, um, decent. (They kinda handed me that one.) But that’s about all I’m giving it. The lackluster reaction isn’t for lack of trying on the part of the band. In an attempt to be the latest, prized installment in a world of Weezer successors, these guys are constantly chasing that most illustrious of prizes – the effervescent alt-rock earwig. And, on tracks like the bouncy “Sigh,” or “Alone,” an out-of-place but compelling little ballad, they do manage to creep deep into your ears. But so much of the record is dedicated to the monotonous journey of trying to craft just, just, just the right alt-rock hook, and the rest is, sadly, incidental. After a while, it’s all so much wallpaper on the wall. There are flashes of promises but, for the most part, this thing has one bell to ring. It’s an LP chock full of occasionally invigorating but fairly disposable power pop. Too bad. – Justin Vellucci, Swordfish, June 26, 2019


About the author

Justin Vellucci is a staff writer for PopMatters, Spectrum Culture, and MusicTAP, a contributor to Pittsburgh Current, and a former staffer for Popdose, Punk Planet and Delusions of Adequacy. His music writing has appeared in national magazines such as American Songwriter, alt-pubs like The Brooklyn Rail, Pittsburgh CityPaper and San Diego CityBeat, blogs Swordfish, Punksburgh and Linoleum, and the Gannett magazine Jetty. He lives in Pittsburgh.

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