This ‘Decline’ article was written by GIGsoup contributor Kerr Chalmers, a GIGsoup contributor
The first thing you’ll notice on The Decline’s new album ‘Resister’, is that all the skate-punk elements are there. And while the four chord riffs, anger and passion obviously exist in abundance it’s clear the band are not afraid to dabble in different sounds. It’s little wonder this Australian band is finally breaking ground in Europe and America, after nine years, three albums, and a commitment to finding their unique sound.
There is a lot to digest; it’s the kind of album where you’re guaranteed to notice and appreciate something new with each listen; because there is so much attention to detail, and it’s all coming at you so very fast.
The instruments blend extremely well together, and the album prevails where other skunt-punk albums tend to fail, in that each song has an individual quality making the album interesting from start to finish. It’s the strength of the musicianship that allows the band to so easily garnish their records with little idiosyncrasies. The cult-staple jaunty riffs and beats are occasionally offset by darker tones synonymous with heavier genres, or even moments of calm, giving the record a bipolar personality.
The lead single ‘Giving Up Is A Gateway Drug’ slides into an air of tranquillity in a similar fashion to Blink-182’s famous hit ‘Dammit’, allowing a moments relaxation for those with sore necks. Further into the album sits the stripped back ‘You Call This A Holiday?’ With just an acoustic guitar and vocals, the song is a subdued reflection on the past and future and aptly placed in the centre of the album.
The opening and last tracks of the album also contain elements of each other; the same riff taken in different directions on each, bringing you full circle at each end. The music is accompanied by some pitch perfect and clever vocal harmonies, and relayed in their native accent. ‘The Blurst of Times’ could easily be renamed The Burst of Harmony, with such a gloriously dark chorus reminiscent of the style of Teen Idols, and the sheer catchiness of ‘Almost Never Met You’ has to be applauded as it burns into your mind like a cattle prod with its happy-go-lucky melody.
The album demonstrates a genuine nu-punk agenda which is fodder for some of the albums best lyrics. ‘I Don’t Believe’ seem like a cry for community, and defiance against being owned by the industry. It’s a rare occasion on the album where the words are chanted with an angrier conviction over a thumping riff which drives the songs message forward. Elsewhere the lyrics are somewhat light hearted and satirical, with a nice balance between wit and sincerity. Sadly the record does contain the occasional recycled or predictable line, notably the opening track from the album which bears the words ‘I don’t wanna stop’ and ‘I don’t wanna go home’, which digress from the originality of everything else on the record.
‘Resister’ is a satisfying listen as a whole but certainly could have had the potential to be just a little more. It’s a record that both new and existing followers of The Decline should find enjoyable, and interestingly, one that someone without a deep interest in the skate-punk genre should still connect to, as the albums best songs are instantly catchy and splash across genres. Although the musicianship is fairly complex, it’s a simple and easy listen and a nice addition to the family of albums released by the band.