Rob Decoup - Pain

by Kevin Wierzbicki

Decoup was born in Austria and spent his formative days there but he has since travelled the world and lived in many places. Add in the facts that he has a keen sense of observation, an exceptional eloquence with words (and a PhD in poli-sci to back them up) and a penchant for guitar-driven, literate blue collar rock and it's inevitable that he'll draw comparisons to the likes of iconic stars like Bruce Springsteen. But critics and fans are just now with the release of the four-song EP Pain getting a hint at what Decoup is all about; one thing that's for sure is that the singer/guitarist has a penchant for writing songs about social maladies and the seamy side of the human condition.

Pain contains three self-penned numbers but the title cut is a well-chosen Alice Cooper oldie where Decoup rocks up the song's guitar part beyond the original while delivering Cooper's roll-call of nastiness with jaundiced eye disgust.

On his own material Decoup doesn't come right out and say, "Hey, this sucks, change the world" so much as he matter-of-factly lays out scenarios of past or present injustice, like on the stark, Communists-referencing "Say Hello to Misery," a tune that will resonate with fans of performers like Peter Murphy.

"Stranded in Marseille" with self-deprecating lines like "I am just another one of your fools" and "I know I'm not that witty" plays out at a breakneck pace, almost as if portraying a scene where the wheels are spinning but nothing's moving, while "Burn Me to the Ground," similarly performed through the eyes of a defeated person, is the one song here that offers a little hope through the grief.

Despite the depressing subject matter that Decoup explores on Pain the songs are fun, uplifting even, thanks to hook-filled arrangements built around lots of screaming guitar licks. Decoup has a full-length in the can and ready to go early next year; in the meantime Pain is available to provide plenty of pleasure.

Rob Decoup - Pain

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