ALBUM REVIEW: Pleasantries – Decade

Pleasantries is the second full-length album from British alternative rock band DECADE. The new record shows the continuation of growth and development from pop-punk roots to an alternative rock sound. Their focus is on the emotional journeys we take through life expressed in a highly melodic way.

The album kicks off with Human Being, a song describing in a comical fashion some of the mistakes and flaws of our nature. Alex Sears’ clean vocals draw a nice parallel to the smooth guitars and unobtrusive drums. It is a light, bouncy tune which alongside the repeated refrain “I say things that I don’t mean because I am just a human being” creates a humorous and entertaining opening to the album. DECADE have managed not to become repetitive in their lyrics, whilst giving the audience something to sing along to from the first listen. The upbeat enthusiasm continues with technically simple rhythms that are cheerful and relaxed. Turn Off Your TV is one of the more fast paced tracks on the album, with hints of their pop-punk origins, it is the track you want to start the party.

The aptly named Wasted starts with the gentle vocals of Alex Sears, before a dramatic guitar riff takes over. This to and fro continues, portraying the ups and downs of a drinking session, drawing the audience in with those all important details, “I sit and I shake, I guess I’m wasted again”. Overall, a good song to play on a night out, or the last morning at a festival. Can’t Figure You Out is a gentle track dedicated to the confusion and uncertainty found in romance, starting from the positive “You look like a flower, could watch you for hours” and progressing until “what you thinking about? Can’t figure you out!” An emotional journey, one that many can relate to, and Can’t Figure You Out is a great example of how important the lyrics are to DECADE‘s work, each word has a specific purpose, chosen to develop the song, or reach a different person. This technique works really well for their overall sound, and the range of experiences they cover makes for a diverse album, and endless possibilities for future tracks.

The final track, Capsules, is slower than the rest of the album, it focuses on Alex Sears‘ singing and one guitar accompanying until two minutes in when everyone jumps in to bring together the album. It feels very celebratory, as Alex brings it home belting “Fucking everything up makes me feel alive”.

Pleasantries is an inoffensive, emotional and brutally honest album. The relatable lyrics coupled with gentle guitars, and upbeat drum sections all create these cheerful tracks. DECADE understand how to match their instruments to the lyrics, a pause in drums to emphasise a poignant line, and vice versa. Every note, and every word has been carefully thought about and arranged to create this delicate collection.

Rating: 8/10

Pleasantries - Decade

Pleasantries is out now via Rude Records.

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