Album Review: The Decemberists – The King Is Dead (Rough Trade)

Turgid Americana pastiche

Even when Oregon’s [a]The Decemberists[/a] debuted with [b]‘Castaways And Cutouts’[/b] in 2002, they were still more Neutral Milk Bail Hostel than Hotel. They transposed wordy Victorian melodrama onto folky sea shanties. But at least once they had a snappy poetic sensibility and an admirable interest in history. Unfortunately, now they are pure turgid Americana pastiche. [b]‘This Is Why We Fight’[/b] is basically [a]Green Day[/a]’s [b]‘Time Of Your Life (Good Riddance)’[/b] covered by [a]Mumford and Sons[/a] trying to be [a]REM[/a]. Trouble is, thousands of people will probably think this pig ugly and cynical exercise in cuntery and western is awesome, so well done, [a]The Decemberists[/a].

[b]John Doran[/b]