Four years after their last studio venture, the Perth quartet have taken 2015’s lineup shuffles in their stride. ‘Resister’ heralds a newly energised era for The Decline, accompanying their impending UK tour with a versatile and carefree record to prove they’ll do whatever they want from now on, to hell with the consequences.
Racing opener ‘New Again’ is brief yet packs an impressive guitar solo alongside the lamenting monotone of vocalist Ben Elliott. “Will you be there when the happy ones give up?” queries ‘Giving Up Is A Gateway Drug’, bursting with character and a phenomenal drum backing.
From the summery skate soundtrack of ‘I Don’t Believe’ to the downcast reflections of ‘Almost Never Met You’, The Decline allow both actions and words to speak as loudly as possible. With intricate fretwork framed by expert drums, ‘The Blurst Of Times’ demonstrates the natural coherence of a band that’s not just been brought together by a love of punk, but also by their sheer talent.
Spitting words before they burn his tongue, ‘Broken Bones’ displays Ben Elliott at his most livid, while the traditional punk solemnity of ‘You Call This A Holiday’ unexpectedly changes key to a passive aggressive ode to the way things used to be.
Accompanied by an eccentric barbershop quartet rendition, ‘Wrecking Ball’ snaps forth at an unrelenting pace, crying “You’ve had everything I’ve got, so just keep me as a memory of everything you’ve lost.” Similarly, the venomous, and quite frankly humorous lyrics of ‘You’re Not The Waitress’ contrast its optimistic instrumental backing.
Despite lasting a princely 30 seconds, ‘Little Voices’ crams in enough fervour and character to rival its lengthier counterparts. Sadly not an ode to the Camden venue, ‘Underworld Tour’ stands as a quirky anthem bursting with individuality, but before long ‘Start Again’ draws the record to a close on a fantastically vibrant guitar solo.
A well-rounded and expertly crafted record, ‘Resister’ depicts The Decline at their most creative and disdainful – looking back in anger but vowing to learn from past mistakes.
’Resister’ by The Decline is out now on Pee Records.
Words by Ali Cooper (@AliZombie_)