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.
3.5 / 5 – Listen below.
RIYL: Teenage Bottlerocket, Local Resident Failure, Implants