American Pie with and English cup of tea, Decade’s new album Pleasantries is a coming of age.

Those more studious followers of the UK alt-rock scene would realise that Decade are a band that have been around for quite some time; hitting numerous intimate UK club tours while mostly playing understudy to other south-of-England rock powerhouses such as Mallory Knox and Don Broco.

Their debut album Good Luck was a classic collection of American-pie-esque angsty Pop-Punk, exactly the thing you’d expect to hear as you cringe watching Jim on his quest to lose his virginity. But in the 4 years between that and the release of their brand new album Pleasantries the band’s sound has developed considerably. It appears the greasy haired teenager grew up, got a haircut and fixed up his wardrobe.

Don’t get me wrong, the new record still maintains the unmistakable American Pie flavour, just we eat this pie accompanied by a very English cup of tea. There’s a real English wit about the lyrics, a subtle sarcasm and slight exasperation from frontman Alex Sears that’s impossible for our American cousins to harness. Album opener, ‘Human Being’ gets straight to the point and is all too relatable to those of us just a little bit sick and tired of having to interact with people we’d rather avoid: ‘Exchanging pleasantries with people you don’t really like…’. We know how you feel Alex.

The album is a buffet table of juicy riffs, tasty guitar licks and hooks so catchy you’ll find yourself going back for third or fourth helpings; none catchier than the chorus for ‘Brand New Again’, a song on hitting rock bottom before finding sudden motivation to change. ‘Sunbeam’ is a gem, and a personal favourite of mine. It almost entirely escapes the alt-rock/pop-punk genres becoming something all of its’ own; effortless melodies combine with the prettiest of guitar tones – a combination that is certain to put a smile on your face.

‘Turn Off Your TV’ explores how technology has taken over our daily lives, and is more of a return to what would be considered traditional Pop-Punk. ‘Of all the dreams in all the world, you had to come to mine…’ Sears sarcastically asks as the band roll their eyes at modern society. Remember a time when everyone didn’t have their head buried in smart phones?  ‘Yeah, yeah, oh it’s all too easy… yeah, yeah, turn off your TV’. Sadly I don’t think everyone got the memo.

Pleasantries is a fantastic album, and one that you should go out and buy. It’s a real coming of age for a band who will only proceed to produce more fantastic music in the future. The release has already seen them land a support slot on Counterfeit’s European tour as well as sets at UK festivals including Slam Dunk and 2000 Trees. Expect more big things from Decade in the very near future.

4/5 Bytes.

Guest Writer: Nathan Petherick.
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