Label: Level Plane Records
Post-hardcore/emo and dub reggae might not seem like natural bedfellows, but Amanda Woodward made them seem like the most obvious of genres to combine on La Décadence De La Décadence. The sole album from the French band combined the emotionally cathartic, energetic nature of 90’s emo, with the spacious, almost relaxing aspects of reggae, resulting in songs that varied massively in tone and tempo, yet flowed in the most natural of ways. Other than Death Mercedes (who contained members of Amanda Woodward), I’m yet to hear anyone attempting this kind of thing since Amanda Woodward split in 2007, and it’s no surprise – to combine these styles with such results must have been difficult, but good god is this album incredible.
Specifically, the opening title track of this album must be seared in to my brain my now. Everything about that song is perfect – the opening build-up, the explosive release, the desperate vocals, the moments of (relative) calm provided by the reggae sections. The rest of the album might not reach such heights again, but it’s hard to hold that against Amanda Woodward. This album still holds a special place for me, almost 15 years after release, and I’m sure it will for a long time to come.
The best way to get hold of a copy of La Décadence De La Décadence is via Discogs. The only streams I can find are on Youtube. Such is what happens when a label as great as Level Plane goes out of business, just a few years before things like Bandcamp and Spotify became a thing :(