LIVE REVIEW: Decade with Montroze and Highlives, Bristol Exchange 3/6/16

Slowly building up to the release of a new album, south-west pop-punkers Decade have embarked on a tour around the UK with Cheap Meat. We caught the show at The Exchange in Bristol to catch a glimpse of Decade‘s upcoming music. Unfortunately, Cheap Meat had to drop out of the show due to illness.

Highlives opened up the night, a pop punk quintet springing up from the burgeoning scene in Bristol in recent years. Despite facing a relatively empty and static room, Highlives brought an impressive sense of energy playing songs mostly from their recent EP Misguided Youth, but also their earlier EP Through Vacant Eyes. Blasting through a thirty-minute set of anthemic, upbeat pop punk tracks, they brought everything you could hope for for an opening band – dedication, energy, and passion. [7/10]

Next up were Montroze (previously Montrose), another one of Bristol’s finest. This four-piece continued to stir up the room, inspiring some finger pointing and singalongs from some more familiar members of the crowd, giving Montroze some of the feedback they needed to really raise the bar. Their 2015 EP Monster Under The Bed fueled most of their set, and the band were clearly comfortable with performing these songs to their max. Their closing track brought on a whirlwind pit, with limbs flying in true pop punk fashion. Does it get any better? [8/10]

As Decade took the the stage, the room had finally filled up to a better level, though the latecomers didn’t seem inclined to make the room and more kinetic. Decade put out their debut album Good Luck around two years ago, and they’ve been playing some of the songs for even longer, so it’s safe to say they’re keen to move onto their new material. This led to a gig with a slightly different atmosphere to normal, with Decade playing a set largely composed of music that hasn’t been heard yet. That said, it sounded incredible. The new tracks demonstrated a massively increased vocal range from frontman Alex Sears, as tracks like Geist and Wasted prove. At some points, the vocalist moves all the way up to a comfortable falsetto, which is something that will set the band apart hugely when their new album drops.

As for that album, Decade don’t seem to have much more idea than us when it could be, despite recording it last October. Their passion for the new songs clearly outshines that of their older tracks, not that they were boring in any way. Decade still absolutely slayed their way through the likes of Brainfreeze and British Weather with the crowd singing back every word. Some of their new tracks have even been altered slightly to fit the pace of their newer material.

Musically, the newer tracks seem far superior. What with Alex Sears’ increased vocal mastery and some of the blistering riffs that Joe Marriner was pulling from his tracks, the album is set to be exquisite. It’s clear that Decade have put their entire hearts behing this record, and even seemed a little nervous in playing some of their new tracks. They had no need to fear however, as the reaction to them seemed incredibly positive. The crowd had no qualms with the slight change in style, and perhaps the most gratifying moment of the show for the band was the crowd coming in louder than ever before for the show closer Daisy May. It just proved that people are still invested in this band, and still keep new singles spinning whenever they hit. [9/10]

We can’t wait to hear more new material from Decade, and will have any news for you as soon as we have it ourselves! For now, here’s Daisy May: