The Decline – Are You Gonna Eat That?

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The Decline

Are You Gonna Eat That? - Pee Records

Controversial artwork pushed The Decline’ Are You Gonna Eat That? out in front of the pile of CDs I had to review and I quickly threw it in to see what this unknown band from Australia could deliver. It turns out that they were well worth the attention the artwork garnered them as Are You Gonna Eat That? immediately brought me back to when I first started getting into the whole punk rock game.

For at that time, Epitaph were the kings of the punk world. Their brand of melodic skate-punk was unmatched and each album was created with great anticipation. The Decline reminds me of those days, as they stick to the melodic skate-punk mold perfectly. It’s a modern day No Fun At All mixed with an Australian accent akin to Frenzhal Rhomb. Their breakneck drumming points towards that of Lagwagonor early Millencolin while more than just their name reminds me of NOFX.

On Excuse Me they pull in some modern references with a verse that would fit nicely in a Set Your Goals album but otherwise, they stick mostly to the balls-to-the-walls skate-punk. Harsh vocals on tracks like Human Exports sound like Antillectual while harmonies on Worlds Apart II make you instantly want to sing along with the politically driven lyrical message. A tight bass line opens up The Financial Equivalent  Of A Complete Rectal Exam nicely before they jump into one of the more fun tracks on the album, with layered vocals mocking bands like Farewell in a ever so subtle way; while the bass intro to Rooftops is pulled directly from 88 Finger Louie66B is NOFX mixed with Strung Out with the catchiest bridge of the album. Even the slow acoustic ballad 2006 throws back to Yellowcard with the violin and female vocals.

While the musical structure of the album is by far the highlight here – they’re socio-political message comes through in a rather positive way as well. Touching on animal rights, immigration and child labour, Are You Gonna Eat That? entices the listener to open up the lyric booklet and read a little deeper (like One Win Choice) and that adds yet another facet to the album.

The Decline sing about touchy subjects in a well written manner and wrap those lyrics in a energetic punk rock package that deserves to heard by anyone who calls themselves a fan of the mid-nineties skate-punk scene.