Decent Criminal


Decent Criminal / Direct Hit split EP

Three-song split from DECENT CRIMINAL (Santa Rosa, CA) and DIRECT HIT! (Milwaukee, WI). DIRECT HIT contributes the first song “Wasteland,” starting off with a surf-rock twang strum and someone saying “I feel like I’m skateboarding in this song,” which leads into scratchy, shouted vocals over tom-heavy drums. The song came out of pandemic lockdowns: a vision of a virtual-reality future, wondering “We’re in the wasteland / Are we even alive?” The sound is nasty and in-your-face; a confrontation. I listened back to some previous releases, and while the surf-rock thing appears, Nick Woods’ vocals, mixed with the indie pop swing of the band, makes them sound like GOOD CHARLOTTE, or some other unfortunate iteration of pop punk from that time. Not that I listened back to all their tunes, but it seems “Wasteland” takes a different approach. Speaking of indie/alt rock: DECENT CRIMINAL. “Dream” and “Time” jangle along with a tambourine and some soft “ooh”s and “aah”s and are generally catchy, though admittedly not my bag. If this is your thing, the 7” also comes with a full-length comic book, Beacon, a collaboration of Nick Woods’ dystopian writing and Walker Dubois’ illustrations. Candy pop punk fans apply within.