REVIEW album Old Subbacultcha Old Subbacultcha

The Decline's 'Resister', Rabble Rousing Fury From Australian Skate Punks

Old Subbacultcha

Old Subbacultcha

Skate punk is a sub-genre that combines the breakneck pace of melodic hardcore with the catchy youthful bounce of pop punk, giving it that very solid wall of guitar riffs and powerful drumming.

It's not a new concept of genre crossing by any means and it's a much used, overcrowded one thanks to the popularity of bands like NOFX, Suicidal Tendencies, Pennywise, Sick Of It All and Lagwagon who, through various adaptions of their own interpretation, generated the global reputation of skate punk music and, in turn, inspired a million other bands to follow suit. Some of those bands became really good and some became really not so. Australian band The Decline (with this album being the reference point from where my opinion is based) are of the former.

Things here really couldn't begin any better than they do with the short but powerful opener "New Again", a song that lasts less than two minutes yet manages to hammer out a formidable entrance, bristling with energy and utter immediacy. It's quickly followed by the effective stop/start/stop guitar work that begins recent single "Giving Up Is A Gateway Drug", a great song with little flourishes of inventive brilliance - with its change in chord pace and sudden vocal dips. It's a showcase for incredible drumming on faster paced "The Blurst Of Times" pounding a symphony of melodic and frenzied skate punk percussion that ends in a clever guitar solo.

There's a heavier sounding hardcore launch for frenetic "Camberwell Street", the ever restless punk rock urgency is skippered by some well pitched melodic partnering... again that ever present intuitive musicianship gathers things up and brings it together with a slick competence. "Wrecking Ball" has pace and it punches and snaps its way forward with aggressive punk energy, the crunching guitars and fiery attitude are intermixed with melodic vocal combinations... similarly the malevolent "You're Not The Waitress" and final track "Start Again".

This may not be the album that will go on to inspire a new direction, but I'm pretty sure that is something this band are well aware of anyway. They seem genuine enough for what they do to ever care for or need such bloated accolades of superficial wank egoism... and it's a pretty good album nonetheless.

Awash with neat guitar chords and huge rabble rousing bursts of sound it's kept mostly simple concise and to the absolute point... utilising their skilled musicianship at precise moments to suddenly steer things in a different direction... delightful body-swerves you didn't see coming that completely change an entire song in that instant. Far from being some copycat fraudsters of a work already made they are a band delivering a perfectly executed homage to their influences with plenty of their own originality on top.

To find about more about The Decline
click here. To visit The Decline's Facebook page
click here. Words by Alan Baillie