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A valid statement. Demonstrating competent musicianship, the east coast quartet has all the verve of an angst-driven young band cultivating its own voice. Some songs showcase guitarist David Lynch's lupine death growls ("Maniac," "Lucker," "Can't We"), some are led by violinist Meg Mulhearn's lightly husky vocals (the fact that only half the tracks here have vocals should further polarize). The uptempo songs are the shorter ones (in the two-to-three-minute range) — "Can't We" and "Concept" are even shorter and resemble sketches, jams. "A Scar Is Born" surprises with its piano, spaced guitar notes and overall intimacy, a rarity on this debut. All throughout, Mulhearn's bowing succeeds as an important textural facet. Her delicate plucking opens "Can't We," shattered like a teacup by the stony assault of Lynch's gritty chordings. "Slow Kitten" is one of the better instrumentals with its Tool-esque melancholic brooding at an 11 on a 10 scale. "Dancing On My Grave" echoes a strangely shoegazer'd Leger de Main, if such a thing is possible. Barely exceeding one half-hour, Descolada manifests as a sophisticated rock curio.

- Sea of Tranquility

"Catching up with Descolada (while they still can be caught)"

Catching up with Descolada (while they can still be caught)

Tony Plichta isn't listening to us. He pounds the air, phantom sticks thundering on imaginary drums. He doesn't even seem to know he's doing it. It's as if he's forgotten where he is – what he's supposed to be doing. A few feet away is a tumble-worn stereo, and as it plays, Tony's possessed hands reach up to hit each invisible cymbal. His feet stomp out each kick of his unseen bass drum.

It is a warm evening in Montford, and though he's so close that I can hear the rustle of his clothes as he flails away at the empty air, Tony is very, very far away right now.

In real life, Tony plays drums for the Asheville-based Descolada, and the album he's so lost in is his own band's first full-length studio recording, Paradise Lost. This particular song reaches a volcanic crescendo – it's half angry hardcore rock, half symphony. Then, as abruptly as an earthquake starts, it stops.

"The drums are bad as s**t! I missed the snare at the end, though." Tony is back with us.

The rest of Descolada isn't even listening. They've heard the album enough – they recorded the thing, after all. Instead, they talk about being at Starlight Studios in Stone Mountain, Ga., where Paradise Lost was created. They describe it in manic terms – a happy, chaotic battle against time at the end of a month-long tour. Descolada recorded the album live, allowing them to hammer out the 12 songs in just under three days.

"If just one person messed up, we had to do it all over," says Robby Pitts, the group's bassist. "About halfway through the second day, the music just starts messing with you. You start feeling like you're swimming in it. It makes for great music."

"It was like a dream the whole time," says guitarist Dave Lynch with quiet reluctance. He doesn't elaborate. Descolada is his first real band, and though he's been interviewed before, it doesn't seem to come easily to him. Instead, he just shrugs and smiles.

"The worst part was coming back to the real world," says Robby. "Back to our jobs."

The rest of the band groans in agreement.

Descolada has had its share of troubles, both in the real world and in the land of bands. They parted with guitarist Daniel Will shortly after the release of Paradise Lost, and they've had mixed success getting the group to pay for itself.

"For a long time, it just seemed like it was just one thing after another would go wrong for Descolada," says violinist Meg Mulhearn, who also contributes keyboards and vocals. She takes a quick puff from a slender cigarette, considering her next few words. "It's like that for any band: You end up putting everything you have into it. Emotionally. Physically. Monetarily. That's what this album is for me – it's a reflection of all that."

And something of that turmoil informs the whole record: Descolada's sound is a mixture of eerie grace and thrashing rage, with Mulhearn's mad bowing playing counterpoint to Tony's vivisecting percussion. The guitars and bass fill in the sonic middle, fleshing out a dark, almost morbid, mood. At other times, the result is a blaring bitterness mixed with existential longing. Theirs is violent, beautiful music.

Or, at least, it can be. Even the band agrees that Paradise Lost only partly captures them. When they listen to it now, they hear the flaws – particularly the places where they wish they'd been a little more in control during the rushed recording and mixing process.

"It's a good chronicle of where we were," says Mulhearn, stubbing out her smoke. She notes that the current band's grown a lot since then, and they expect to be tighter still by the time they start an upcoming tour that will span from North Georgia to Flint, Mich.

"We're proud of Paradise Lost, of course, but it's not as reflective of who we are right now as it could be."

"I don't think it's the best thing we'll ever put out," says Tony. "But we put a lot of emotional stuff into it, and for now, it feels good."

And then another song starts up, their 13-minute, ancient-history-themed epic "1066." And from nowhere in particular, Tony again picks up his intangible sticks and begins drumming madly into the night. - Mountain Xpress

"Descolada Steals Hearts With Wordless Intensity"

Descolada steals hearts with wordless intensity

The origin of their name is a Portuguese word meaning "unglued." That said, members of local instrumental-rock group Descolada actually take their title from a fictional disease created by sci-fi writer Orson Scott Card in his book Speaker for the Dead.

According to the band, Card's made-up malady turns people's organs inside out. So you might expect a group sporting such a moniker to work a murky, brooding vibe. And you'd be right.

Descolada sounds like a patchwork of Velvet Underground's droning violin, Sonic Youth's experimental temperament and Tool's gloomily rhythmic drive. It's a surprisingly effective combination.

Random Acts recently spoke with Descolada members Dave Lynch (guitar), Daniel Will (guitar) and Meg Mulhearn (violin, occasional keyboards);Tony Plichta (drums) and Robby Pitts (bass) were absent.

The local group's debut CD is slated for a late-fall release.

Random Acts: "You've been called an instrumental heavy-metal band. Accurate?"

Meg Mulhearn: "We're not really metal at all, honestly. ... I think there are definitely elements from all kinds of different genres, but our music doesn't really have a lot of traditional heavy-metal elements to it."

Daniel Will: "It's heavy, but as in it's weighing on you. There's a thickness to it."

Dave Lynch: "I think the word 'emotional' would be in there somewhere."

RA: "You've got a substantial number of punk-rock fans. But you aren't exactly a typical punk group."

DL: "I guess there's a certain amount of anger in the music."

DW: "There's definitely a driving force of aggression. It's very channeled and focused, though."

MM: "I don't think it's anger; I think it's just a lot of emotions. The reason we play music isn't because we're angry."

DW: "And we listen to way too much Joy Division and The Cure. We've got to vent it somehow."

RA: "Why did you choose not to have a vocal element?"

DW: "We didn't have a PA."

MM: "It's hard to practice without one. We planned originally on having vocals, but it just hasn't happened. We definitely wanted that symphonic effect. ... We have a lot of songs that build to a crescendo. We like to mess around with rhythm a lot, too. It keeps us from getting in a rut."

DW: "It's also hard to find words that do the music justice."

MM: [Laughs.] "That sounds so pretentious. We may eventually add a vocal element ..."

RA: "When you hear that there's a violin in a band, you expect it to take a central role. Is that the case with Descolada?"

DW: "Not at all. It's a very democratic situation."

DL: "We work to have it be not that big of a deal that there's a violin. A lot of people will use a violin or something as a gimmick."

MM: "It's not set apart. I do a lot of rhythmic stuff that's not solo or back-up. Tony [the drummer] and I work very closely together."

RA: "Tell me about the strangest show you've had thus far."

MM: "We had a strange show at this warehouse. The cops shut us down at 1 o'clock in the morning, understandably. Then, my friend was fire juggling and set a tree on fire. It was getting kind of scary. All these people started climbing the tree, and all these other people started banging on it. Fire was falling down off the tree. They eventually got it put out."

RA: "Descolada has made its name playing at house shows and underground events. Do you have any thoughts on where the local underground scene is headed?"

DL: "There was a while where it seemed like everything was coming together, but now it seems like there's not as much drive."

DW: "There's no desperation. You can feel it in the walls when there's an anxiety to play."

RA: "Do you see yourselves as eventually being able to support yourselves exclusively off your music?"

All: "Yes."

RA: "So, if you were booked on a tour tomorrow, you'd be able to go?"

DL: "Yes."

DW: "Yeah."

MM: "I don't know. I'm a little bit less of a free spirit than the rest of the band. I don't know if I could just quit my job and pack up my stuff."

DW: "We could just kidnap you." - Mountain Xpress

"Show Review"

Featuring eerie symphonic violin arrangements like The Rachel's, and distorted guitar and drums like Sonic Youth, this primarily instrumental 4-top from Asheville gracefully challenge the laws of rock tradition. Descolada evoke both rage and excitement while simultaneously exploring the unconventional use of the violin. All of which induces mind-blowing crescendos both beautiful and tragic. - The Charlotte Observer

"27 (Relapse Records), Descolada, More..."

Hailing from Asheville, North Carolina, and resembling a sonic hurricane of intricate guitar parts, hypnotic drums, melodic violin, keyboard and amazing bass playing, Descolada is a force to be reckoned with. Comprised of: Tony - drums & vocals, Meg - bass, keyboards, violin, & vocals, Dave - guitar, bass, & vocals, Daniel - guitar, bass, & vocals, and Robbie - guitar, bass, and vocals. Drawing from influences like Isis, Sonic Youth, Buddy St. Marie, Mike Patton, Party of Helicopters, Godspeed You Black Emperor, Joy Division, Hum, Rancid, Victor Wooten, Velvet Underground, and Dead Milkmen, the influences abound and show through in this unique band. They are a must-see act for anyone who hasn't seen them.
- Creative Loafing

"BEST OF WNC 2007"


"Best of WNC 2006"

Descolada was voted Best Indie Band 2006 by Mountain XPress readers. - Mountain XPress

"Descolada Album Review"

"This band has destroyed the borders of hardcore. I have never heard a band incorporate so much in one song. They go from haunting to beautiful to brutal all in the blink of an eye, and they manage to do all this without sounding sloppy. I am so impressed with this record, I can't wait to see how they destroy musical borders in the future." - Our Reviews- Louisville Hardcore MySpace blog

"Review from Doll Eyes"

Descolada- Descolada

Raucous rock with a violin

Descolada is a beautifully packaged self titled debut album from Ashville (USA) four piece. Their music is eerie, disconnected, and intense. It's mournful violin weaving through distorted grungy guitars, dirty bass lines, and hammering drums. Some time vocalist Meg (also violin, & piano) sounds best when she's subtle on Dancing On My Grave, and particularly one of the stand out (and most accessable) tracks Unlucker. Her singing approach is restrained, while being passionate at the same time, it works well with Descolada's insistant sound.

Son Of A Hundred Maniacs, and Lucker are two giant slabs of raw, lumbering rock with howling vocals, and thrashing drums that will appeal to your angry side. The album culminates with It's Beautiful..' which is one of those fantastic songs that builds up to a deliciously explosive ending.

One thing that's clear throughout this record is the superb musicianship throughout from all the band- who manage to create such a thick and rapturous sound without compromise. In terms of production there are a few moments when the vocals could do with turning up slightly, but my only tiny moan is that there are perhaps too many instrumental tracks. Where as some are brilliant as they are (Hellmouth, Concept) others are screaming for a vocal (Slow Kitty Death, A Scar Is Born) to make them extra special.

Turn the lights out, put this album on, and turn up the volume for an epic ride. Descolada, we like. We like a lot.

- Doll Eyes

""Lucker" review in CMJ"

Metal drums and guitar with violin swim triumphantly atop this entire piece. The song includes dueling bass and violin followed up by emotionally charged screaming.
Chosen as Ourstage pick by CMJ. - CMJ


2006-Descolada-s/t-Angura Sound (Ahleuchatistas, UltraDolphins), Cubby Pals, Gasping for Breath Records

2002-The Blue Album-self-released

2002-Live at The Hideaway

2002-Live at Area 45



Descolada is a unique group of musicians redefining the borders of hardcore. A reviewer recently called Descolada "pretty to the core,"-one of the closest descriptions we've heard yet.

We have been chosen as one of the best Indie bands in Asheville and Western North Carolina two years row by Mountain Xpress readers, and the first self-released album in 2002 was listed in the Asheville Disclaimer as one of the top ten albums of the year.

Just in time for the wrapping up of our third album, Descolada signed with IRIS Distribution, the largest digital distribution company for independent labels. The company chooses just a few artists each year for its promotional and distribution packages, so it is very exciting. Our previous two albums should go live starting in July 2008.

We are currently in the studio finishing up our third album and looking for a label. True to our mountain town that we call home, we've been experimenting with frontier themes and sparse musical landscapes. In keeping with the Descolada tradition, there are a few true crashing epics in our new slate of songs. We are taking a short break from playing shows at the moment, allowing band members to work on solo and side projects and finish up the album.

A European tour is in the works for 2009.