((The Decemberists)) Band Profile and Upcoming New York City Concerts - Oh My Rockness

Portland's The Decemberists sound very much like Neutral Milk Hotel. And people go ape shit for them just as much as they did for Jeff Mangum's gone-too-soon, legendary band. Their 2002 debut, Castaways and Cutouts appeared out of nowhere and suddenly The Decemberists became the band everyone was talking about.

One of the keys to their success is the highly distinctive, dynamic vocals of Colin Meloy. He sings his guts out with theatrical tales of gypsies and prostitutes. He croons as he laments the destitute, the misfits, and societies forgotten, all with subtle romanticism.

Meloy's supporting cast of musicians are no slouches in their own right, using sweeping and challenging orchestrations as backdrops to the Dylanesque tales. But similar to The Mountain Goats, how much you love The Decemberists comes down to how much you like the guy's voice. Because it's Meloy's voice, as it was with Jeff Magnum's, that provides the power.
Published July 28, 2005
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