Superior design

Formed in 2002 and consisting of long time friends from Bolton and an acquired mate from Sheffield, Decoration first came to prominence with their warmly received debut single 'I Tried It, I Like It, I Loved It', which had the honour of being charted by the late great John Peel in his Festive Fifty of 2004. They produce a sort of unabashed eighties Indie sound, with the influence of The Wedding Present and The Smiths heavily prevalent throughout. It harks back to a time when Indie music fitted its description and wasn't being commoditized by the hidden hand of a major record company as is so often the case these days. Their sound also retains an innocent feel, unpolluted by the arch and ironic posturing that seems to be the first port of call for many a new band these days, and a sense that their main objective is just to rattle out their music with a healthy disregard for the supposed norms of how things should be done.

Lyrically they occupy similar territory to that of Sheffield wordsmith Jarvis Cocker, turning the apparently mundane events of life into mini kitchen sink dramas and in the process highlighting the fact that there's a tale to be told on every street corner and living room across the land if you look at things the right way.

'Pavey Park' opens proceedings with a reverie on past childhood haunts that's augmented by chiming guitars and some fairly tight song construction. 'Escape Routine' rattles along with verve and has some amusing lyrics concerning an effigy. 'Every Dog Has Its Day' is pure Indie jingle jangle that could not have existed without The Wedding Present's exploits. The singer's vocal inflections are distilled David Gedge, but for some reason it doesn't sound like Karoke, maybe that's due to the fact that few bands these days cite The Wedding Present as such a major influence, thus keeping the approach fairly fresh. 'Fly North' has a nagging guitar line that's hard to dislike and a spoken monologue ala Mr Cocker. Joy Adamson is excellent with rampaging guitars that must have drawn blood from fingers, 'Job In London' again illustrates their ear for an affecting guitar melody and 'Pine' is an ode to a chance meeting in a garden centre.
'I Tried It, I Liked It, I Loved It' confirms John Peel's musical judgement never waned, 'Vaseline On The Lens' is a short burst of regret, and 'Intercom and Concrete' builds a wall of sound that teeters on the point of collapse, such is the enthusiasm with which they are belted out.

What impresses most about the LP is the consistency of the song writing and the way they come up with memorable melodies time after time : an impressive feat on a debut LP that consists of 11 tracks. When it seems that most Indie bands these days look across the Atlantic or to the corporate behemoths U2 for influence, it makes a refreshing change to come across a band that looks closer to home for inspiration and in the event they continue the lineage of bands that chart the character and quirks of this idiosyncratic island of ours.