Decade - Pleasantries
4.0Overall Score

It’s bands like You Me At Six and Don Broco that most notably keep the flag flying high for no-frills British rock, but its the emerging talent that work the hardest in the hopes that one day they will be at the top of their game too. Decade, an alt-rock band of middling fame, are gearing up to release their second studio album, Pleasantries.

While the band’s first album was more of a bare bones attempt to showcase raw talent and not much else, this new release seems to be holding high regard for aesthetics as well as brilliant material. The artwork for example; a simple image with blinding colours that doesn’t give too much away. It’ll no doubt serve to draw curious listeners in and produce new fans.

The opening track is the pinnacle of importance, setting the scene for the rest of the record. ‘Human Being’ does an excellent job of this with a subtle verse but high energy chorus that allows lead singer Alex Sears to reach his full potential. Decade aren’t quite pop punk, but there is a certain influence that can be easily heard, particularly in this first offering. There’s no arguing that this album is far better produced than Good Luck, the band’s debut, and that’s immediately apparent from the beginning with how clean cut each track is.

‘Daisy May’ was the first single to be released off of Pleasantries, dating back to 2016 when the album had yet to be announced. It’s built on the famous “three chord trick” and the lyrics aren’t much more eloquent, but a song doesn’t have to be complex to be good and Decade prove exactly that with this one. ‘Turn Off Your TV’ is more elaborate however, with its breakdown stealing the spotlight to show off a versatility that even some bigger bands would envy.

The heart-wrenching staples come in the form of ‘Wasted’, a lyrically beautiful track, and ‘Sunbeam’, which is more gentle in the melody department. These may not be the songs that will have Decade blowing the roof off of each venue they play, but they show a softer side to the band that fans will find easier to relate to. It’s this kind of material that develops a fair-weather listener in to a die hard.

Each and every track on Pleasantries is precise and punchy, with none coming in above four minutes long. Decade are straight to the point with the stories they are trying to tell, forgoing excessive instrumentals in favour of stunning lyrics. This album is the furthest thing from a sophomore slump, in fact it improves on its predecessor tenfold as the four piece start this new chapter in clawing their way to the top.