The title track of this four-cut EP is actually an Alice Cooper cover, but the song is very typical of the music Decoup himself writes.

But while Pain draws its darkness through a simple but graphic roll call of dire situations referencing everything from heroin addiction to the death of Christ, Decoup’s anguish mostly plays out through storytelling.

On “Say Hello to Misery,” a song that’s equal parts Leonard Cohen, David Bowie and Bruce Springsteen, Decoup seems to be singing to or about a woman but through lyrics couched in the desperation of real, non-metaphorical war. Similarly “Burn Me to the Ground (Remix 2013)” is sung from the viewpoint of a thoroughly beaten man; the difference here is that there remains a bit of hope as Decoup counters the despair with one positive line: “You will never shut me down.”

If this all sounds quite depressing, it is not. Decoup has a blue collar voice and a way of phrasing that begs for the listener to sing along. The arrangements are bright, the guitars are ringing and plentiful, and “Say Hello to Misery” and “Burn Me to the Ground” in particular have serious anthem potential.

So although his songs may convey feelings of anguish and despair, Decoup delivers an EP that's quite painless to listen to.
Grade: B+