Decomposers: June 1992

Decomposers: Adding Humor to The Intensity of Life


You know, trying to sum up what a band is about in a fixed amount of space or time is a real pain in the ass. And after much thought on the matter, I have decided that in order to learn anything about Decomposers, you’ll have to hang out at Kelly’s house after a gig for a while. I guess if I were an over paid Rolling Stone reporter I could do it. However, I am not, but after knowing these guys for years and a 4 hour informal interview, I think I can tell you a thing or two about these boys.

When I set up the interview with the band I decided that it should be some type of formal thing. After about five minutes in the room with these guys, I soon found that formality was highly improbable. I did, however, finally get the spelling of their names and few straight answers.

Leading the band on vocals is ex-Sadhana and starving artist Aaron Anderson, a soft-spoken lad who seems to come alive on stage. The first time I saw him sing about four years ago he was a whiny teenager who could have doubled for Bobby Sherman in the mid-sixties. Now his voice and lyrical content have matured to the point where he has become one of the best vocalist in town.

The rhythm section consists of Kelly Mounteer (bass) and Jeff Moyer (drums). Both of these guys started playing when they started the band and have improved considerably over the past two years. Kelly is before the extrovert of the band. He is the one who played Mayfest with electrical tape on his nipples. Jeff just takes all the shit from the rest of the band.

The guitarist are by far the biggest part of the talent in the band it seems that the structure of most of the songs fall on the guitars. Dave Griffiths has the most experience. He helped the newer musicians along while they learned to play. Curt Barker plays both rhythm and lead guitar and says he bought his guitar and amp so he could have the same rig as Johnny Thunder. He also developed his interest in playing from the same: it shows in his style.

The only way to describe the music is straight up rock and roll played after listening to punk rock for ten years. I hate to make comparisons, but it sounds like Social Distortion with balls. Their lack of years of experience has given them an energy and simplicity that makes their music easy to listen to. Because they all learned to play together, they write music that progressively gets better every time I hear them play.

I saw them play a year or so ago and they suckDecomposers: June 1992 ed; their amps and guitars were shitty and  they were not very well rehearsed. When a band works as hard as these guys have, they naturally progress, but these guys have paid the price and it shows when they play and write. During the past year they have bought new gear and rehearsed enough to become quite solid. Good enough to be chosen for the Cramps and get a great spot Mayfest before Big Drill Car and The Fluid.

The thing I like most about these guys is their complete lack of pretension. They play what they like and they always, always, have a great time doing it. If you haven’t had a chance to pick up their new four-song demo, you should it is really good. I guess the band’s seriousness took my by surprise because they take everything besides their music so lightly. And when they showed up one night with new gear, promo pictures and talk of a tour I knew that if these guys stuck with it long enough, people would understand what they were up to.

Decomposers will hopefully have a 7” available this year from Flatline records. This should be quite a move for Brad Barker because most of the stuff he has pressed has leaned more towards the more metal-sounding straight-edge type of music. Decomposers’ music has more of a punk edge to it and the band doesn’t have the same clean image as most of the other Flatline bands. However, the music is good and it could be a big seller, especially with the way the alternative music market has fused with mainstream record sales. I guess the mainstream has finally caught on to what the alternative music listeners have been screaming about for the past umpteen years.

In any case, it is time you checked out one of Salt Lake’s better bands. Leave your criticism at home and show up with plans to have a great time. Find out which category of fan you are:

  1. As soon as the band starts, lift your nose and get your pompous ass out the door as soon as possible, because they don’t play Violent Femmes covers.
  2. Stay in your seat cause you really do like them, but you don’t want your friends to know you actually do like this type of music.
  3. Stagger to the dance floor with a beer in each hand and dance like a mother fucker, ‘cause you won’t remember what a great time you had the next morning. Join us up front and bring money for beer—or just come loaded. 

Check out more from the SLUG Archives:
Henry Rollins: The Catharsis of Anger 
The Skeletones: Do the Rockabilly ’til the Break of Day