In 2013, this bath-based alternative rock quintet made a huge entrance to the UK music scene with their debut LP ‘Good Luck’. It was an infectiously catchy and short record filled with noughties pop rock choruses and 90’s grunge undertones. Whilst it deservedly gained them commercial appeal with Reading and Leeds, Download Festival performances and tour support for A Day to Remember to name just a few; the record felt safe and lacked staying power.
So, four years later, Decade return with a new label (Rude Records) and a fire in their belly as they bring a record with a polished pop aesthetic that is both refined in its mature song writing, and brimming with new ideas.
Opener ‘Human Being’ is filled with huge riffs, off beat high hat grooves and some welcome falsetto from front man Alex Sears. The gang singing at the end of this track is a feel good ear-worm guaranteed to brighten your mood. Single ‘Daisy May’ is a four to the floor banger peppered with tambourines, claps and a stabbing guitar riff reminiscent of The Raconteurs smash hit “steady as she goes”. The clear production of this record (Real World, Rockfield and Abbey Road) has allowed for a wider array of dynamics, and noticeably put vocal harmonies at the forefront – ‘Turn off Your TV’ being a perfect example of this: a standout single with a chorus capable of filling arenas.
The middle section of this record takes the pace down for a slower tempo, giving the clean reverberated guitars room to breathe. ‘Sunbeam’ fittingly brings a vibe perfect for drinking cocktails on the beach with clear inspiration from Weezer; whilst ‘Can’t Figure You Out’ contains some gorgeous warm bass-lines over an acoustic backed brit-pop chorus.
In an authentic fashion, ‘Pleasantries’ tackles the themes of the human condition, self-discovery and awareness with emotional weight. Alex calmly states “my friends seem so together and i’m barely there” on ‘Sunbeam’, and sleazily delivers “my world is turning over and I can’t feel my face?” on ‘Wasted’ – a darker track about substance abuse. ‘Brand New Again’ however, ponders the larger picture – a track that encompasses a sense of mystique and unease through its spacious guitar leads ala Allusondrugs (see lyric video below)
Whilst this album has brought a wider array of sounds to the table; unfortunately the momentum feels lost towards the end and at times the riffs and mid paced tempo become slightly repetitive. ‘Pleasantries’ in this context seems a fitting title as it is both radio friendly and inoffensive, but the strongest moments arrive when they push themselves to their limits. Fortunately closer ‘Capsules’ achieves this as the cutesy intro explodes into an energetic second half of soaring guitars and a belting hook “fucking everything up makes me feel alive” – a bold and honest way to end a record.
Decade have taken a confident step forward here and carved a niche through combining popular styles of rock whilst playing on nostalgic sentiment. It can only see their fan base grow tremendously and lead to bigger and better things. If you’re a fan of rock music at any capacity, give this a go!
The second LP from Bath quintet branch out whilst refining their radio friendly anthems.