THE DECLINE - Flash Gordon Ramsay Street (Album)
‘Flash Gordon Ramsay Street’ is the fourth album by these Punks from Perth in the west of Australia. It’s also the second album since their fairly drastic line-up change, swapping out a couple of members including a co-lead vocalist. The new guys have settled in comfortably now and the band sound great.
Like most Skatepunk bands, they mix the frenetic drums and buzzsaw riffs of Melodic Hardcore and mix it up with the melody of Pop Punk. They would have fit in nicely on the roster of any of the legendary Punk labels of the ‘90s: Fat Wreck Chords, Burning Heart, Epitaph etc and I have no doubt that Tony Hawk would have shoved them onto one of his game’s soundtrack if they were around then too.
Guitarists Pat Decline and Ben Elliott both handle lead vocals, though I’ll be honest, I have trouble telling whose voice is whose as they’re quite similar. While their accents aren’t as strong as Jason Whalley’s from Frenzal Rhomb, there’s still no doubting where THE DECLINE are from and it gives them a little something to stand out from the many bands playing this style of music.
‘Flash Gordon Ramsay Street’ has a lengthy running order, boasting seventeen tracks, but it still clocks in at a shade under 30 minutes, with the majority of the songs rushing by in one to two minutes. ‘Summerbucht’ and ‘Bahia De Verano’ (both translate to Summer Bay, where you and I belong together) are both less than 10 seconds long.
A variety of themes are covered across the album, some serious, some light-hearted. The current single, ‘Brovine’ is about life as a vegan and dealing with the grief you get about it. ‘Get Hyrule, Save Zelda’ is, somewhat unsurprisingly, playing The Legend Of Zelda.
Previous single ‘It Was Always You’ is one of the highlights of the album, it’s one of the more melodic songs and is about struggling with a long-distance relationship when you’re scared of flying. Something that’s more of an issue in Australia than it is here in the UK I guess.
‘Your Funeral’ is the closest thing to a ballad on the album and is about worrying about a friend with… troubles. It’s followed by ‘Josh’ which follows a similar theme as it’s an elegy for a friend who’s sadly passed. For all its fast pace and battering drums it’s a pretty moving song and a perfect way to close the album.
There’s a couple of guest appearances on the album too, ‘Verge Collection’, which is an oddly bouncy track about moving on from a relationship and leaving all the rubbish behind, features Stacey Dee (Bad Cop/Bad Cop) cameoing as the ex-girlfriend. Elsewhere, Nuno Pereira (A Wilhelm Scream) bellows across the furious ‘War’ and Noah Skape (from the peculiar Australian Punk band, FAIM) joins in on the clunkily titled but anthemic ‘Don’t Jump A Giftshark In The Mouth’.
There are also a few samples dotted around the album too, the most notable for me though is the one in ‘I’m Not Alright’, a line from one of my favourite films, Kevin Smith’s Clerks.
If you’re not already a fan of Skatepunk, Melodic Hardcore or just Punk in general then ‘Flash Gordon Ramsay Street’ is unlikely to change your mind. For those that are then, it’s an enjoyable, solid album that’s more than worthy of your time.
1. Bullet With Buffalo Wings
3. It Was Always You
5. Verge Collection
7. Changing My Shoes
8. Smashed Avo
9. Real Again
10. High Extinction
11. I’m Not Alright
12. Don’t Jump A Giftshark In The Mouth
13. Bahia De Verano
14. Get Hyrule, Save Zelda
15. The More You Know
16. Your Funeral
The Decline are:
Pat Decline – Vocals, Guitar
Ben Elliott – Vocals, Guitar
Ray Ray - Bass, Vocals
Harry Holt – Drums