Decisions "The Weight of the World Leaves a Broken Back" 7"
Side A: Trapped, Disform
Side B: Gatekeeper, Rusted Shut
Decisions formed in February of 2016 in New York City because Jacob, Ellen, Jonathan, and Liana all being in one band “seemed to make sense,” a hardcore punk group drawing from an inspired cross-section of outsider influences. Lingering elements of their members’ other projects seep in through the cracks: artful experimental restraint, blown-out noise, the occasional straightforward rock riff. At early shows in kitchens and basements of NYC Decisions created their sparse but hard-hitting weirdo freak-punk-through-a-tin-can sound with lyrics dissecting experiences of “class resentment, being queer and feeling powerful.” This was captured on a cassette in April of 2017, the six-song Plagiarism, released via Death By Sheep Records. Decisions are among the best punk bands in NYC and the tape left many wanting more.
Now behold: ten minutes of new Decisions, a seven-inch titled The Weight of the World Leaves a Broken Back set for a split release via Wharf Cat Records and Death By Sheep Records. Recorded at JMZ House in October of 2017 by Dave Rata, it’s a raw punk record that plays out almost like one complete sentence—a skeptical and nuanced thought about breaking down the walls and norms of a boring fucking world, and the gatekeepers and institutions reinforcing a busted status quo. It’s like a collective decision to push back and say No, with screeching feedback, ominous primal drums, sirening basslines. “Trapped” is at once an epiphany and a rejection while “Disform” uses rhythmic double-tracked vocals to sear into those who spew bullshit theories and meaningless words, all leading to some of the record’s most central questions: “I try my best to live comfortably in this body that I hate… Are we living outside this binary or creating another one?”
It’s a song that asks whether seemingly radical communities only end up creating their own hierarchies and power systems, a topic further pried open as “Gatekeeper” rails against the holders of power in hardcore, a world they seem content to tear apart and build anew on their own terms. “Rusted Shut” is the only song over two minutes, a slow and creeping build that eventually breaks and an example of this band’s cool use of pace and testing of patience. Is it a takedown of old guard systems and impossibly locked doors or just a meditation on some ancient building? Figure it out for yourself or don’t. The answers are never easy. Decisions suggests you can opt for a process instead. With unrelenting rage and disjointed grooves, The Weight of the World Leaves a Broken Back is the sound of a new New York punk underground, of chaos bending towards something more interesting.