Review Summary: Here's a better question: are you going to listen to this?
The lyrical premises embedded in each song off of Are You Gonna Eat That?
are pretty simple. They capsulate the same old recycled opinion that has been promulgated on thousands of punk albums since the very inception of the genre. There are a handful of tracks on the album that express reflections of shared relationships as well as the dissolution of humanity due to greed and capitalism. The differences between past releases expressing similar views are the words and that the pecuniary and relational woes are being voiced by a new group: The Decline. The band is a pop punk rock group from Australia and are one of the lesser-known contributors to the underground revival of the scene.
Though their songs have some interesting titles, the lyricism is far from profound or unique and essentially regurgitates the primary topics which have always concerned those interested in the genre. While bands like NOFX, Lagwagon, Blink 182 and Green Day once lead the original scene from the 90’s, there has been an uprising of hybrid bands similar to the old-school that have incorporated various other influences into their output inter alia Sharks, which have been said to have an alternative flavour in their songs, and The Gaslight Anthem with their late 50’s blues style. While these artists arguably lead today’s new wave of pop punk, certain artists that are like The Decline, such as The Stereo State, Up For Nothing, and The Hollowpoints (to a fair extent) have tried to maintain the original sound qua the classic perception of pop punk.
Albeit most of The Decline’s music is a rehash of old ideas it will be found enjoyable to fans of the genre simply because it meets the minimum standard for this particular style. Each song is energetic and the guitar riffs are interesting enough to draw one’s attention. The lyrics are likely to capture their target audience, even if in a lot of instances they beg the question and the vocals are noticeably flat. The songs are short so that their similarities don’t grate too heavily on the listener’s interest. But most importantly, the instrumental aspect isn’t generic and, though I am fairly certain that I am going to forget about listening to Are You Gonna Eat That?
in an hour or so, I was genuinely entertained enough to listen through most of it in a sitting without feeling as though I’d much rather hear some Grimes or Backyard Mortuary. However, when I did it was because the music just didn’t cut it and at about half-way through left too much to be desired.
I am particularly picky now as I continue to listen to more and more new releases and compare styles of today’s elite with essentials of the past. But the album is fine for what it is considering it was written to appeal to a niche audience of listeners who are diehard fans of pop punk. Unfortunately, for those that climb the many branches of the living tree of music in search of new flavours within the fruits that they bear, it is unsurprising that when tasting this particular fruit, one will find it to be boring because it is a flavour that avid music-lovers have tasted many times over. Thus the caveat that I leave in conclusion is to be discretional before dabbling in Are You Gonna Eat That?
. It is easy to disregard this album as having any significance rather than to recognize its raison d'être. For that reason I suspect many ratings for it similar to my own but anticipate dissenting opinions as yet another pop punk album is brought to the surface to be scrutinized solely on its merit (hopefully).