Every Thursday in May, the band Decoded is having their residency at AMPLYFI with Rock for a Difference Los Angeles, and when I saw them last Thursday, they were rocking for HeARTS Giving Hope, an organization driven to transform kids’ lives through music and art. A few local bands were playing (The Lost Colors, Ballerina Black) and I arrived a little bit before Decoded’s performance: one thing is certain, for a band that hasn’t been around for very long, they truly rock hard.
In between a few Nirvana covers, not totally out of place in their musical landscape of 90s-inspired heavy riffs, and in the AMPLYFI room with its Kurt Cobain portrait, the band played his new material as they have a new four-songs EP out, ‘The Split’. On stage the band is bold and loud, with a confident frontman, Derek Jordan,not afraid to show his best rock-star moves at every occasion, his arms apart, either pointing to the ceiling or doing rocking windmill spins.
Their music was a classic example of melodic-heavy-guitar-foot-tapping pop-rock songs, modeled after the masters, as I could hear influences from the Foo Fighters to Weezer. If the music was upbeat, it was also built around a few classic-rock solo guitars, and big sing-along hooks, filling up the entire songs, like with the EP opener, ‘Open season’.
At one point, Derek Jordan shredded on the neck of his guitar, at another moment he used a violin bow on his guitar strings to play Nirvana’s ‘Sappy’, getting lots of distortion from the instrument while taking his most raucous voice. He explained that one of their new songs was about ‘not being afraid to make mistakes’, but there also was a song called ‘I really hate you’ that ‘we shouldn’t take personally’, another explosive one entitled ‘Imperfect for each other’, and they closed their set with ‘Lost no more’.
Beside showing their obvious fandom of Nirvana, Decoded played their post-grunge music with catchy power choruses fueled by loud roaring guitars and sung-in-your-face vocals, in the small club AMPLYFI that some say is Los Angeles best underground secret with its familial ambiance: it was Derek Jordan’s birthday, and they were giving cupcakes and lemonade for the occasion.
Decoded still has a show next Thursday, with other local bands and a fundraising for Rent.Food.Broke, a website that helps people to live on a budget,… making a real good use of their first residency in Los Angeles.