I found at one point I kept being asked to write so many reviews of punk bands. I don’t know how that happened, but luckily I was given some pretty good stuff, mostly pop punk, to review. Now it’s been a while so I’m happy to feature Australian skate punk band The Decline‘s Resister album. True to the nature, Resister is fifteen songs long while clocking in at just a little over a half an hour, so just by that you know you’re in for a fast album.
The thing I first noticed about Resister is how just about every song leads right in to the next. I noticed this when I first put on the album, and didn’t even realize a little over two minutes in that opening track New Again was over and Giving Up Is A Gateway Drug had already started. Both being fast skate punk songs, I wasn’t able to hear much difference between the tracks at first casual listen, but rest assured that both songs sound completely different. New Again makes for a good opening track. It just has that simple in our face nature to it that The Decline use to ease listeners into what’s to come in Giving Up Is A Gateway Drug and the other following rather upbeat fast pace punk tracks like I Don’t Believe, Almost Never Met You and what I think is my favourite track The Blurst of Times.
It took me a couple of listens to really distinguish differences between these songs, but now in hindsight I don’t know why I had such a hard time at characterizing Resister‘s first few tracks. Of course it was easy right away to notice You Call This A Holiday? was different from the rest of the pack, with its isolated guitar and vocals that make up for most of the song, until The Decline just completely burst into a minute of perhaps the highest level of intensity heard on all of Resister. then there are of course the three shortest tracks on the album that don’t even reach a minute in length that add for some unique yet very credible punk moments. Little Voices is the most predictable of these three tracks, being thirty seconds of more fast punk playing. Reprise is like a forty-five second You Call This A Holiday? in that it starts with soft guitars and vocals then blares out in intensity in the last five seconds which leads into closing track Start Again.
The coolest track on all of Resister is Wrecking Ball Barbershop, which is an almost thirty second barbershop quartet rendition of the song that if precedes, Wrecking Ball. In the end, The Decline always go back to their comfort zone in fast skate punk songs like Wrecking Ball, as well as Camberwell Street, Broken Bones (which has an opening riff that reminds me of the theme song to Green Acres every time) You’re Not The Waitress and another of my favourite tracks Underworld Tour. Though I think I like the latter the most because it reminds me of heavier edge punk rock like The Offspring.
Resister‘s closing track, Start Again, is also its longest. At just barely three-and-a-half minutes, it serves as one last reminder from The Decline that they have no intension of slowing down. Uniquely enough, even though Reprise is kind of a reprise of this track, it comes before. Regardless of their reasoning, The Decline end Resister perfectly, with a nice intense fade out guitar solo that leaves me wanting more.
Resister is an album that really grew on me through multiple listens. It didn’t immediately catch me right from the get go and I was prepared to say some critical things about it. In the end The Decline prove to be capable of making songs that stick, and if you give it enough time, you’d hear there are some good quality skate punk tracks present here. Of course, according to my research, The Decline aren’t a new band and are now a few albums in, so that experience shows. It’s also to my understanding that they’ve recently had some line-up changes, but those changes seem to have made them even stronger.
“I Don’t Believe” – Why this one over all of the other fast in your face punk tracks? Well while so many of the songs on Resister are great, only a few go a little above great, and of those few, I Don’t Believe has the right hooks to intrigue any first time listener to keep listening.
7.5 (Out of 10)
|2||Giving Up is a Gateway Drug||3:01|
|3||I Don’t Believe||2:23|
|4||Almost Never Met You||2:27|
|5||The Blurst of Times||2:56|
|6||You Call This a Holiday?||3:19|
|9||Wrecking Ball Barbershop||0:28|
|11||You’re Not the Waitress||2:16|