Cheaply Bought, Expensively Sold – the debut album from Declan Welsh & The Decadent West – was a rather raucous affair. Heavy on the guitars and stuffed with stadium ready singalongs, it quickly secured the group a dedicated fan base in their home city of Glasgow and beyond.
Its follow up, 2, has a decidedly different feel. ‘Mercy’ kicks things off, channelling the indulgent excess of later-day Britpop. But the party rocking doesn’t last long, and ‘King of My Head’ is a brooding spiral of a track, touched with the same velvety excess that Alex Turner has injected into the Arctic Monkeys sound.
What the record may lack in immediacy, it makes up for in intricacy, and while some may be left longing for the bigger choruses of the band’s debut, a new host of fans will be secured by their fearless foray into blissfully hazy indie pop. ‘Hardly News’ sounds like Real Estate had they grown up in Partick instead of New Jersey, and ‘OK Now’ is the band’s most interesting, and best, dabble with synth soundscapes to date.
If you do as you’ve always done, you always get the same result. On 2, Declan Welsh & The Decadent West prove that they’re not content with just spinning their wheels and are willing to take risks in the quest to be the best they can be.