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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Decapitado Makes Up For Lost Time

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In 2003, Milwaukee-based Decapitado released their Blacked CD, a collection of ridiculously heavy (yet also surprisingly catchy) songs that instantly marked them as a band to keep a close eye on. But year after year passed, and next to nothing was heard from the band. Now, more than five years later, the group has emerged with a flurry of shows and an ambitious recording schedule. Perhaps wanting to make up for lost time, Decapitado seems intent on doing all it can to get its music heard in 2009.

The impetus for the invigorated Decapitado seems to be a conversation between vocalist/bassist Daniel Kubinski and original Decapitado guitarist Andy Skeels. After running into one another at a Couch Flambeau show during the summer of 2008, the two realized that they missed playing together. Skeels' replacement-Takis Kinis-found himself unable to commit enough of his time to the band, and Kubinski thought that bringing Skeels back into the fold just might revive the long-dormant group (Kinis has since left the group on good terms).

So far, this strategy seems to be paying off. Kubinski is incredibly excited about the songs that he, Skeels and drummer Mike Olson have been writing. Kubinski says that songs such as "Autowriter," "Thermal Electric Skin" and "Nerve Endings" are all marked by Skeels' "massive guitar sound," a sound that relies heavily upon "off-kilter time signatures that turn sharp corners and keep listeners on their toes." According to Kubinski, such new songs are "much heavier, slower and more dedicated to the rhythmic side of things" than the band's earlier material.

"There is a kind of bump and grind" aura to this latest material, Kubinski explains, yet the songs remain "very punk in attitude and feel." Greatly responsible for this aesthetic is Olson, a talented drummer who has little time for the standard 4/4 beat that often marks heavy music. To Kubinski, Olson is an "absolute killer drummer" whose eclectic approach to the group's latest material wonderfully accents the somewhat odd time signatures that Kubinski and Skeels have come up with.

Decapitado plans to release a new 7-inch EP on July 31, the first in a series of three EPs to be released throughout the final months of 2009. At the same time, the band has begun to play across the Midwest, with scheduled shows in Milwaukee, Madison, Lansing, Mich., St. Paul, Minn., and Chicago. Hoping to build upon this momentum, Decapitado will then release a four- or five-song CD in January 2010, followed by an all-new LP/CD in the late spring of 2010.

Such activity bodes well for the future of the band, as does Kubinski's optimism regarding Decapitado's current lineup. "I really am enjoying our band again," he says.

Here's hoping that the band continues to enjoy playing together, as it would be the city's loss if we had to wait another five years to hear from this talented band again.

Decapitado plays the Cascio Groove Garage at Summerfest on Sunday, July 5, at 7:30 p.m.