Around 14 months ago, Welsh trio The Decoy produced a well-rounded debut EP in ‘Parasite’. They’ve now returned with a full-length that is just as impressive as its predecessor.
On the surface, ‘Avalon’ sees the three-piece supply a musical cocktail of jagged alt-rock with sporadic poppy hooks and sturdy breakdowns with a smattering of prog and math. It probably shouldn’t work but songs like ‘Black Mountain Radio’, ‘Cold’ and ‘Elizabeth’ all have an infectious charm.
‘Crazy Nights’ carries the momentum with its boisterous chorus. Likewise, ‘Kids’ is pulled off with conviction through its cinematic approach with a hint of unhinged rawness seeping through. ‘Breathe’ takes that rawness and pushes into the forefront with stabbing blasts giving a heavy edge against Lewis Barber’s pleasant harmonies.
Whilst ‘Habit’ attempts to be the standout track through its large driving guitars, accompanying female vocals (from Abigail Tough) and slightly lyrical quirkiness (“I love the way your lip gloss tastes from your coffee mug”). It takes The Decoy’s strongest points and crams them into (nearly) four enjoyable minutes.
However, it’s penultimate track ‘Lion’ that tops it. With a muscular stop-start approach, thriving guitars and dual vocals charge forward before breaking down into an unrelenting, chaotic onslaught. ‘Live By The Axe’ sees out the album in a similar and convincing fashion.
In a scene where imitation is easily noticeable, The Decoy are an interesting prospect. ‘Avalon’ is a blast of prospering alt-rock that takes elements of names such as Biffy Clyro, Don Broco and Lower Than Atlantis, and sees the trio put their own spin on proceedings. Thoroughly addictive, ‘Avalon’ packs a lot in 34 minutes and leaves The Decoy standing in a positive light.
‘Avalon’ by The Decoy is out now on Ghoulish Records.
Words by Sêan Reid (@SeanReid86)