After waiting four years since Decade‘s debut LP, ‘Good Luck’, you’d be forgiven for thinking Decade may have been no more. ‘Good Luck’ had the Bath-based quintet touring alongside the likes of Tonight Alive and The Used, but was it different enough to allow them to stand out from the vast range of pop-punk that we’re accustomed to? Admittedly, it wasn’t a certainty, but ‘Light Grenades’-esque Incubus lead single ‘Daisy May’ offered a flicker of hope.
Typically, bands can be quick to follow on from the success of their first album, but Decade, however, ironically hadn’t had the best luck since ‘Good Luck’ dropped in 2013. After the LP’s release, the band left Spinefarm Records, an independent branch of Universal, in the hope of finding a smaller more hands-on label. They later signed with Rude Records to release ‘Pleasantries’, seven months after ‘Daisy May’.
‘Pleasantries’ is proof that Decade‘s infectious energy wasn’t quashed throughout an inevitably stressful label change. Bright and full of good intent, the album opens with melancholy anthem ‘Human Being’ and flows effortlessly onwards, showcasing maturity and growth from each member. Vocalist Alex Sears is now fully utilising his vast vocal range, which sits naturally amongst the clever riffs and well-written songs.
Although at times it can be difficult to separate highlights from one another, ‘Sunbeam’ is a glorious ray of vulnerability before the album dives back into perfectly constructed chaos.
The album ends with the peculiar ‘Capsules’, which invites the listener briefly into Sears‘ psyche. It’s easy to hear the emotion in the track as he candidly sings about mortality, pondering the relationship between life and death. At this point, Decade, however, have never been more alive.
Second album syndrome might’ve been a threat, particularly after such a gap in their career, but these guys appear immune. ‘Good Luck’ was the album to put them on the radar as a band with potential, but ‘Pleasantries’ is the album that will go on to define Decade as more than “just another pop-punk band”.
We can’t wait to see where they’ll go next. Just don’t make us wait so long next time, yeah?
Written by Kat Haugh (@this_is_mouse)
Founder & Editor for DEAD PRESS! | Atheist and antitheist. | Judge of the quick & the dead since 1989.