Formidable Perth punk rockers The Decline came back rejuvenated and revitalised with the release of their third LP “Resister”. The beginning of the year saw the replacement of band members that has spawned a renewed and equally reminiscent Decline sound. The Decline knuckled down and headed straight in to record at Electric City Studios with Adam Round and Sam Allen who worked on their two previous releases. The result is an album that pays homage to their 90s skatepunk forefathers whilst showcasing a new mature sound that promises a long future for The Decline. facebook.com/thedeclinemusic
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THE DECLINE – Resister
Following some line-up changes earlier this year, The Decline are back in full effect with album number three. And not to worry, “Resister” still has everything on offer that you have come to love about these Aussies. Kicking things off with the appropriately titled “New Again”, The Decline immediately shift into high gear and race off with frantic riffs, fast-as-fuck drums, catchy hooks and slick choruses. And to top it all off they don’t say no to the occasional solo in between the witty, rapid-fire lyrics. It makes for one hell of a nice slice of 90ies skatepunk. Sure, we’ve all heard No Use For A Name, Lagwagon and NOFX before. But rather than simply copying from the masters, these guys continue to give a tried-and-true formula a modern sound on yet another high quality punkrock album that will have you smiling right up until closing track “Start Again”.
Rating: 7.5 out of 10 – Reviewed by Thomas
THE DECLINE – Resister
The Decline have been through some things lately. Earlier this year the band introduced new guitarist/vocalist Ben Elliot and bassist Ray Chiu just months after the departures of Dan Cribb and Nathan Cooper. A lineup change can sometimes have a drastic effect on a band, but on Resister, The Decline’s third studio album and first with their new members, the band proves that they’re still worth your time. The album kicks off with the fittingly titled “New Again,” and in just under two minutes cast any doubts regarding the chemistry of the new members aside: It’s fast, catchy, and sets the mood for the rest of the album, which stays consistent throughout. The band still allows pop culture to permeate their music, from the Chasing Amy and The Empire Strikes Back sound clips in “I Don’t Believe” and “Start Again” (another appropriately titled track) respectively, to the title of “The Blurst of Times” and it creates a sense of familiarity for newcomers and old fans alike. In fact, the album does such a good job at keeping The Decline on the same path that it doesn’t do much to expand their sound. Sure, there’s the barbershop quartet intro to “Wrecking Ball”, but despite its title Resister does very little to go against the grain. But since this is the studio debut of not one, but two, new members, maybe it’s for the best that The Decline sticks to what they know for now. The Decline’s primary goal with Resister is to prove that the band can still churn out the same melodic tunes just as well as before, and on that end it’s incredibly successful. It’s catchy enough to stand with the best of their back catalogue, and even at 15 songs it doesn’t overstay its welcome. Don’t fight it, give Resister a chance.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 – Reviewed by Bizarro Dustin
Keep Track Of The Time
THE DECLINE – Resister
Skate punk is alive and well in Perth, Australia! Imagine taking Fat Wreck Chords style skate punk, adding in a heavy dose of Masked Intruder style pop punk, and blending it with Epitaph punk rock, heavy on the Bad Religion. That’s the sort of sound you get with The Decline. The songs are fast, they’re crunchy, they’re super melodic and catchy, and they’re everything you expect from this kind of music. The multi-part harmonies are great, too, appearing often in many of the songs. “I Don’t Believe” leans a little more heavily toward the Bad Religion side of things, while still remaining quite poppy. “The Blurst of Times” also reminds me a bit more of the Epitaph sound, but those harmonized vocals – so great! It’s like a punk barbershop quartet! “You Call This a Holiday” is an awesome track – it starts out as a nice, quiet indie-pop track, with jangly guitar and subdued vocals. Just when you start to relax and swoon to this crooner, at about the two-thirds mark, everything explodes in a fury of drums, and guitars, pounding crunchy bass, and those harmonized vocals – it’s a full song’s worth of excitement in under a minute! “Wrecking Ball” has a fun intro, sung a cappella, also in barbershop quarter style. I particularly love the great melody of “You’re Not The Waitress,” which has more creativity than the typical punk song. The quality of this album is very consistent, the technical ability top notch, and the singing is spot on throughout the album. And, even at fifteen songs, the album doesn’t seem too long – maybe because the tracks average around two minutes or so a piece. I used to love this style of music back in the day, but I moved on, as music evolved and changed. These days, many of the bands that play skate punk don’t do much for me anymore, but I truly enjoyed this album. – Paul Silver
THE DECLINE – Resister
Meet The Decline, an Australian skate-punk band whose catchy hooks and bouncy melodies will make their new album Resister your summer jam—yep, the entire pogo inducing album. First thing’s first, The Decline decided to go against the regular 10-12 song album grain, and make a 15-song album instead. Granted, some of the tracks are only a few seconds to a minute long, but still… 15. That’s a lot of punk rock to pogo to. (We’re not complaining.) Opening track ‘New Again’ is fast paced song, although it has its slower moments. The melody is that of a typical pop punk song, but weirdly has a sort of beach-y feel. The guitar throughout, and especially at the end, gives off this cool summer surf vibe. ‘I Don’t Believe’ sounds kind of 90s punk rock—which obviously rules. The overlay of vocals really blends nicely with the song, giving it a more varied sound, which contains elements of punk rock, pop punk, and even a little sprinkle of the more aggressive hardcore… We said sprinkle. There are even a couple lines taken from Kevin Smith’s movie Chasing Amy in the song, making it 10x cooler than any other track ever. Although there are a lot of typical pop punk/skate punk (they’re pretty similar to be fair) tracks on the album, like banger ‘Almost Never Met You’ and ‘Camberwell Street’, there are also the occasional angsty, moody tracks like ‘The Blurst of Times’, ‘Underworld Tour’ and the track that only lasts 47-seconds ‘Reprise’. There are even some slightly weird songs on the album, like the barbershop quartet version of track ‘Wrecking Ball’ (‘Wrecking Ball Barbershop’), which although doesn’t really fit into the album at all, is quite great. The normal version of ‘Wrecking Ball’ is also pretty great. It’s a punchy, spitfire of a song. That’s just how we like our punk rock, loud, fast and extremely chaotic. This album, like most punk rock, isn’t groundbreaking, but The Decline definitely know how to get a song stuck in your head. Their punchy riffs, cool melodies and the I-do-what-I-want vibe they give off, makes them and this new album, punk rock we can get behind. Review by: Brooke Mustafa
TOXIC Online [UK]
THE DECLINE – Resister
For those that need a change from the same old manufactured, routine, lacklustre music, The Decline has answered: ‘Resister’. The 4-piece skate punk outfit from Perth is set to release their third full-length installment in August and it’s bound to create waves on the UK punk scene – on all punk scenes, full stop. ‘Resister’ is a bare-bone, no-bullshit, full-throttle kind of album; a rarity these days with the likes of J-Biebz and Beyonce polluting the airwaves. From the very first second, these Ozzies show what they’re all about as they kick in the door with their intro track, ‘New Again’. It’s all fast-paced, high-energy punk from here. The first intermission you’ll get won’t come until track six, ‘You Call This A Holiday’, which is oddly reminiscent of something The Smiths might produce after having an affair with Death Cab For Cutie. Don’t get too comfortable though, by the last minute of the song, The Decline cracks back into their usual punk sound – as if it were a joke you fell for. You won’t get many chances to catch your breath, with the exceptions of acapella-composed ‘Wrecking Ball Barbershop’ and most of ‘Reprise’; it’s non-stop punk from here. However, one critique of the record is that it seems to lack variation overall. For die-hard punk fans, this probably won’t be a problem but, for those who are new to the genre or just occasional listeners, you may prefer to pick and choose tracks to combine into a playlist. Personal album highlights are: ‘Almost Never Met You’, ‘Broken Bones’, and ‘Underworld Tour’ which are all packed with catchy melodies, Offspring-esque chants, and jams that make you want to get up and move. The album’s gem, however, doesn’t come until the very end of the album with the finale track ‘Start Again’. What makes this track stand a head above the rest is the gnarliest of gnarly guitar solos that sweeps in at the end – and this is coming from a guy who hates guitar solos [I’m a drummer]. Let that be the greatest testament of all. If you dig what you hear, you’re in luck, because, following their UK release, The Decline will be playing a number of festivals and shows around England and Scotland from 8-17 August supporting the likes of Teenage Bottlerocket, A Wilhelm Scream, and MDC. For more information, you can visit any of the band’s social media sites or affiliated pages. Rating: 7/10 Review by: David
THE DECLINE – Resister
Hailing from Perth, 90s skate punk four-piece ‘The Declined’ are set to release their third full album ‘Resister’ and, pardon my Australian, it is fucking sick. While the band have stayed somewhat close to their roots, there is equally a noticable shift in dynamic with the album, having seemingly sacrificed some heavy influence for a catchier, more harmony-driven sound, the band is certainly not lacking anything. Something that has really stood out about this band are how well they tackle vocal and chordal arrangements. There is often a lot of melody to be lost in playing fast, punchy music, but the band’s vocalists and guitarists Pat and Ben truly nail fluid switches between harsh aggression and seemingly perfect melodies. Upon hearing track 6 of the album, You Call This a Holiday, I was truly in shock that such an aggressive, gritty band could pull off a beautiful, calm track like that, and was especially pleased after hearing the transition in to that oh-so-familiar snare/kick/hi-hat beat and fast guitars. Giving Up Is a Gateway Drug is another almost flawless song, featuring a lovely harmonic, ascending vocal line and some VERY catchy vocal lines. Their use of instrumental stops to give vocals space is excellent, and there were plenty of grin-worthy parts in this track. There is clearly a working formula involved with The Declined’s writing, but they are also obviously not afraid to scrap this formula at every single opportunity and try new, out-of-the-ordinary things. One thing I will mention, however, is the unfortunate frequent use of the typical ‘pop song structure’ of verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, double chorus. With such a messy, punky sound, the band could easily step out of this a lot more, and even avoid recycling parts in some songs. All-in-all, the release boasts a true punk feel, with angry instrumentation, catchy vocals, a driving rhythm section and some absolutely wonderful arrangements. One thing to be said is that the band are obviously not scared of leaving their comfort zone, and that they should really experiment with how much they can push their boundaries for future releases, or even to change songs up for live shows, in order to avoid their repertoire getting too similar. Resister is an incredible release with plenty of interesting songwriting and a truly tight but intentionally messy, driven feel. I rate the release a 4/5, and think it is absolutely great to see bands still pushing 90s punk, because there’s certainly not enough of it anymore! Author: George Scott
THE DECLINE – Resister
The fourth album from these punk rockers certainly does not disappoint! It’s a fun, jump around album and it makes you want to grab a skateboard and tear it up! You can defiantly hear where the bands influences are coming from, like NOFX and Frenzal Rhomb, but putting their individual mark on it. This is definitely a must have CD for any fan of 90s punk! Rating 5/5
OX Fanzine #121 [Germany]
THE DECLINE – Resister
Even though they had some line up changes, The Decline keeps staying on their course and are delivering uptempo punk rock which is pushing the speed pedal quite a few times. The usual suspects showed the way, like early Propaghandi, NUFAN or Lagwagon. Early 90s skatepunk at its best. Therefore not much change happened since the beginning till now. But why should it? This sound definitely has proven itself, even though there are bands that might be on a higher songwriting level. People who like this sound definitely will enjoy it. Especially I Don’t Believe, Blurst of Times, Broken Bones or Wrecking Ball. The smashing snare is recognizable. The rest is hardcore standard. This credit surely goes out to their long year experience.
Rating: 7/10 – Review by: Zahni Müller
THE DECLINE – Resister
The Decline have been around since 2006 but it was their debut album “I’m Not Gonna Lie To You” that introduced them to my ears in 2011. If you’re not familiar with them but you’re a fan of Propaghandi, NOFX, Frenzal Rhomb and Strike Anywhere you should probably kick yourself for missing out for so long! This new album, “Resister”, is the first material we’ve heard from them since they introduced their new line up so inevitably there will be comparisons made by fans who have followed their progress for the last few years. I’ve given this album a few spins over the week and also delved back into their older material to see how they’ve grown and developed as a band. The album starts out strong with “New Again” which contains many of the elements that we’ve come to expect from these guys: a fast skate-punk verse, catchy rock chorus, palm muting and melodic soloing. The track flows straight into the opening single “Giving Up Is A Gateway Drug” which again has a familiar feel until the bridge which drops into a clean groove with lead vocalist Pat Decline dropping into a much lower vocal register. This part really caught my ear and something similar pops up again in the final chorus of “Start Again” which is the album closer. The third track “I Don’t Believe” is a straightforward but catchy as hell punk rock song with a killer groove for the chorus and showcases new vocalist/guitarist Ben Elliot in the second verse. All throughout the album I enjoyed the way that Pat and Ben played around each other with the vocal, there’s some really high lines over the melody and the harmonies are spot on. Anyone who’s listened to the previous albums or seen the band live knows that their rhythm section has always been a key feature and again this album is no exception. Tracks such as “The Blurst Of Times” and “Broken Bones” showcase drummer Harry’s exceptional speed chops and rhythmic stabs while “Under World Tour” swings the pendulum in the opposite direction throwing down riffs that swagger with a southern rock feel. There are a few short and sweet tunes such as “Wrecking Ball” and “Little Voices” and the album closes with “Start Again” which fuses together a frantic verse, sing-along group vocals in the chorus, a bridge with Star Wars quotes and a cracking solo to finish. I have to mention that the song writing on this release is a real strong point. Throughout the album the pieces seem to have a more coherent feel to them. During the first albums there were a few songs that seemed to be a mish-mash of every riff ever written but these songs have a consistency that will appeal to both the diehard fan and the casual listener. Choruses are catchy and sit in that sweet spot of energetic but not frantic, sitting comfortably within the piece and allowing for the tricky parts to occupy the verses and demonstrate to the listener that the Decline are a band of seriously talented musicians. It sounds like the guys have sat down and worked on their craft for this release, there are smart production details (the repeated riff on the first and last tracks for example) and every track has little catchy sections that get stuck in your head. Interestingly I listened to this album both through the CD I was provided with to review and via Spotify at work and noticed that on the album, “Broken Bones” and “Underworld Tour” have a little outro/intro piece that joins those tracks to the ones following. It’s another sign that the band have written these songs as an album, if you’re listening to them online as individual singles you miss out. Overall there seems to be a recurring theme of this album about staying on a path of what you believe is right in the face of opposition. The songs “Giving Up Is A Gateway Drug”, “You Call This A Holiday”, “You’re Not The Waitress” and “Almost Never Met You” deal explicitly with the trials and pitfalls of being in a band with references to relationship breakdowns and long days on the road. It was only after noticing these themes that I understood the symbolism of the album title and artwork: resisting the ever present spectre of time catching up with you. Compared to earlier albums the lyrics seem to be more about personal thoughts and reflections rather than the social consciousness that permeates their earlier releases. There are more introspective lyrics, the track “You Call This A Holiday” actually starts as a ballad and was one of the standout tracks for me. These all fit in with another theme of the album, growing up and becoming more mature. There is less youthful anger in the songs, more frustration at the obstacles that life puts in our way and the choices we make that can hinder out own paths. This album represents a shift for the Decline. They’re writing new songs but they’re touring like mad as always. There’s a frantic energy on some of the tracks but they also mix things up with slower and cleaner sections. As I mentioned before, there are songs here which would appeal to those listeners who only ever dip their toes into the genre sporadically and there are several tracks which fans from the start will appreciate and recognise as classics in the making. It’s a more personal album and it feels like the band have made a solid statement of this is who we are, this is what we feel. They’ve been able to reflect on themselves and where they are as both individuals and as a band and it’s come across in the songs.
Reviewer’s Rating: 8 / 10 – Reviewer: Dane Andrews
THE DECLINE – Resister
If you’re into 90’s style skate-punk, then you owe it to yourself to get acquainted with Australian four piece The Decline. Drawing broad inspiration from countrymen Frenzal Rhomb and Local Resident Failure, along with recognizable staples No Use For A Name and NOFX, the Perth punk outfit puts their best foot forward for their third full length, Resister. Chalk full of accelerated drum arcs and speedily layered vocal harmonies, those that refuse to acknowledge that the 90’s ended fifteen years ago stand to wholeheartedly embrace every second of the ensuing 30 minutes. The Decline wastes no time parading their melodic punk prowess as opener “New Again” races in on the coattails of a snapping drum beat over harmonizing vocals. From there the band invites listeners to a lively display that doesn’t hesitate to punctuate each next chorus with the tuneful melody of upbeat riffs. As seen a track later with “Giving Up Is A Gateway Drug,” The Decline tactfully barrels ahead in a melodic frenzy only to sensibly reel the hysteria back in and compliment their quickest passages with a soft spoken, emotional bridge. In the case of “I Don’t Believe,” the same can be said of the emergence of the track’s big, recurring gang-bolstered choral apex. “You Call This A Holiday” takes similar advantage of a cleaner, more emotionally in-tune intro in much the same way that Resolve-era Lagwagon juxtaposed light segments against bursts of runaway speed. While a superficial listen might brush off The Decline as a one trick skate-punk act, a closer listen quickly sheds light on a far more balanced ensemble. While a feverous pace lies at the core of The Decline, a binding respect for ambitious elements of those like Propaghandi serve as an undercurrent. Late song solos in tracks like “The Blurst Of Times” and “I Don’t Believe” do more than simply fill the runtime – they offer an insight to The Decline’s depth of performance. Lyrically, The Decline comes cut from the same socially aware cloth as their influences. While many tracks like “I Almost Never Met You” aren’t exactly what you’d call “high stakes,” The Decline isn’t afraid to make a statement either. A little less direct and structurally fired up (they’re far from a political punk band), tracks like “New Again” certainly present The Decline as a troupe that has their priorities in order. Songs about changing perspective (“The Blurst Of Time”), coming to terms with loss (“Wrecking Ball”) and resilience (“Broken Bones”) ensure that listeners always have something worthwhile to follow along with. As Resister makes clear, The Decline is a familiar breed of punk band; rapid, melodic skate-punk that’s every bit as easy to get into as it is quick. While slightly softer in attitude or intent as perhaps Pennywise or NOFX, the overall feeling remains energized and engaging. Those with a hankering for some 90’s style punk-rock can’t go wrong with Resister.
Rating: 3.5/5 – Review by: Cole Faulkner
Mute Print Magazine [UK]
THE DECLINE – Resister
There are only a handful of bands from Australia that seem to make it to Europe. Thankfully, The Decline sound nothing like AC/DC. Instead, they give us a melodic punk mix. Ray Ray (bass), Pat (guitar, vocals), Harry (drums) and Ben (guitar, vocals) do not seem to follow the usual punk recipe that their U.S. counterparts would. They have an edge, a little more to offer; the only band they bring to mind is Alkaline Trio who have never been ‘just another punk band’, of course they have the elements that qualify them as ‘punk’…they have to, or they’d be kicked out of the club!! First track New Again takes a little while to adjust to, simply because music of this ilk is generally sang in an American accent – regardless of where the band are from! Thankfully, The Decline are Western Australian, loud and proud. Both guitarists share vocal duties, one of which definitely shines above the other when back-to-back, but, the harmonies are sublime. The musicianship and song writing throughout the whole album is consistently outstanding. Giving Up Is A Gateway Drugis the first single from Resister, it’s a song with a bit of everything; at times neck-breakingly fast, at times melodic and slow. A good taster for people new to The Decline and if they like the single they will love the album in its entirety; only showing their hand a little on the chosen single. I Don’t Believe is bound for a long stint in set lists, it has the feeling of a live song that’s sure to have crowds bouncing from Perth to Portsmouth and is topped off with a sample from the Kevin Smith movie Chasing Amy. You Call This a Holiday has a strange Morrissey feel at the beginning-both vocally and musically, but soon it’s time to put the lighter back in your pocket as it stomps through to the end, spitting vitriol about a lost love. Camberwell Street and Broken Bones lead to Wrecking Ball barbershop and Wrecking Ball, a stunning full-bore punker; if only Miley Cyrus’ song was half as good! You’re Not The Waitress should surely be single, probably more so than Giving Up Is A Gateway Drug, unless they aim to under sell and outperform, if that’s the case – it’s working! Little Voices is everything you could ask from a track that is only 29 seconds long! The final three tracks on the album seem to amp up the quality even further. Underworld Tour feels more like a rock song, showing the extra edge once more that The Decline have up their collective sleeve. Reprise acts as a long intro for Start Again, this one of the many peaks on the album. A smart move, as it will be the last track you hear and it will stay with you, along with the sample of Yoda from The Empire Strikes Back! Flying the punk flag, The Decline have shades of Green Day,The Offspring and countless others and their lyrics are at times – cliché. But, to underestimate these antipodean punkers would be a crime, they are so much more than their genre would suggest. Review by: Aaron Munn
Rrocklobster of Perth
THE DECLINE – Resister
Announcing the departure of half their band in January this year, Perth’s The Decline haven’t skipped a beat. The year so far has been a flurry of touring, recording, and commissioning new merch designs. For the audience, it’s like nothing ever happened. Seamless. Keep Punk And Carry On. New members Ray Chiu (bass) and Ben Elliott (vocals, guitar) aren’t really new at all. They’re both long-time friends and fans of The Decline and have toured with them before. It’s a different collaborative force with the same spirit, drive and professionalism that the band has always had; a level of proficiency that proves punks can take the job seriously too. Maintaining a decade-long pattern of endearing vocals and madcap, expeditious skate-punk music, their new release Resister is full of the same sound you already know and love, with stronger power-harmonies and noticeably more introspective lyrics. Every song on the 13-track album carries value – there are no fillers here. Released last month, single Giving Up Is A Gateway Drug introduced us to the bands’ new incarnation. Presented in the skate-punk tradition of provoking motivation rather than protest, the lyrics prompt us to chase our dreams. Interest is created with contrast between fast-paced and slow and tentative sections, loud and quiet parts, and a balance of harmonies and individual vocals. In Almost Never Met You, the U.S. west coast skate-punk sound is composed more adeptly that anything recently successful bands have been able to produce, and we hear a rare personal story from Pat. The track features a well-developed and crisp sound that we’ve come to expect from The Decline. It’s radio friendly and tipped to achieve commercial success – are you listening, triple j? Ben Elliott takes the lead in The Blurst of Times, which he wrote, and we become better acquainted with his vocal abilities. His folk-punk background and storytelling abilities shine through and he doesn’t shy away from using caustic vocal techniques to express harsh emotions. You Call This a Holiday starts with Pat’s gentle voice, accompanied only by his own electric guitar. The stripped-back sound evokes the intimacy of performing for a small group of friends in a dimly-lit grassy backyard. Two minutes in, someone turns the punk back on and Pat is joined by Ben, Ray and Harry, helping the track to make sense in the wider context of the album. Musician friends visit for group vocals in closing track Start Again, and it wouldn’t be a Decline album without some audio sampling. This time it’s Yoda. Inevitably growing up, moving forward, and developing a more refined sense of self, The Decline have recorded a collection of catchy songs that will make you feel like they’re your friends and they want you to sing along. Of course, you could join them at their next show and sing along if you feel like it. They launch their album tomorrow night at Jimmy’s Den.
12 June 2015
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CAT #: PCD065 / PV010
Recorded by: Adam Round & Sam Allen @ Electric City Studios
Mixed & Mastered by: Jason Livermore @ Blasting Room Studios
Additional Editing by: Brody Simpson @ Underground Recording Studios
CD Artwork by: Annie Walter (pictured)
LP Artwork by: Tim Howe
Layout & Design by: Pete Pee