Design Flaw // Beasts of A Future Decay // EP Review


I knew nothing of Design Flaw before this review, hailing from Washington DC the band’s debut EP ‘Beasts of a Future Decay’ introduces the band to the world.

Three of the four tracks have already been released leaving only ‘Dusk’ to be heard new. Design Flaw play post-hardcore that draws on various different influences, pulling them into their sphere and spitting them back out as their own. They unashamedly wear their influences on their sleeves and you can hear the sound of 2000’s post-hardcore colliding with post-rock and beyond across the four tracks. ‘Silence’ is the opener, a driving post-hardcore track that gives way to a soaring chorus complete with half time tempo change. The bass tone in the middle eight can only be described as gnarly and you can bet your bottom dollar the bassist is a Brian Cook fan. It breaks to a euphoric release that carries us home for the rest of the track. ‘Ghost’ builds and builds over the first two minutes of the tracks. The looped guitar tracks end up sounding almost like keys while new parts come in and out. As the track feels like it moves from a walk to a jog to a run and when it finally breaks it’s all hell screams from the nether world, a catharsis of demonic rage. There are multiple vocal layers to accompany the many guitars in the track, adding to the kaleidoscopic post-rock cosmos feel. It’s chaos but there’s clarity in the chaos.

The aforementioned ‘Dusk’ is the shortest track on the EP at two and a half minutes and seems more like a musical interlude or a bridge between the sprawling end to ‘Ghost’ and the upcoming ‘Andromeda’ as opposed to its own fully fleshed song.  ‘Andromeda’ clocks in at 7 minutes and coalesces what we’ve heard in the previous three tracks. It’s the most realised track on the EP, moving from one musical movement to the next, its run time allowing parts to breathe and build to their natural conclusions. There are some great guitar sounds on this track for every pretty shooting star delay there is a disgusting razor-edged speaker shredding distortion. The vocal layering is brought into full effect here again and there are definite echoes of Maynard creeping through. The drums push forward and pull back, push forward and pull back although they never really seem to fully get to where they want to go. Even at 7 minutes, I found myself wanting more at the end, there were bass and drum parts that were screaming out to be heard.

Design Flaw’s introduction to the world seems like a first step toward where they’re going and what they’re capable of. As the EP progressed they moved further away from post-hardcore tropes and planted their feet firmly in the spaceship to post-rock oblivion and this is where they seem to thrive. The production on the EP feels very ambient, there are so many layers and parts that a more focused production might help bring those parts out, allow space for elements to breathe and shine. The tracks suffer from a lack of dynamics, pulling back on occasion would make those huge anthemic supernova have more impact. I listened to ‘Andromeda’ a number of times and it always left me wanting more and that’s how I feel about Design Flaw. Nice tease but now show me what you can really do.


Review: Michael Smyth

Beasts of a Future Decay’ is out April 1st, 2022.

df spotify-logo 1

Design Flaw is:
Navid Marvi
Ryan Hobbs
Stephen Smith
Gibran Esa


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