Decline Of The Reptiles : 13 Songs For The Rodeo Grrls
There was a time when Decline Of The Reptiles were part of a vibrant Sydney music scene that gave the world Le Hoodoo Gurus, Died Pretty, The Trilobites and a raft of now classic Australian acts. Somewhere along the way the NSW pubs and clubs mafia, aided and abetted by dysfunctional booking practices, conspired to castrate the Sydney live music scene, and things have rarely been the same since. Decline Of The Reptiles’, er, decline wasn’t necessarily directly attributable to Sydney’s odd licensing and band booking policies, but in hindsight, it seems all part of an unfortunate mix.
With the release of the Do The Pop compilation, the members of Decline Of The Reptiles realised there was still life in the old beast yet, and decided to reform and see what creative spark remained. The result is – over 25 years after the band’s first outing – Decline Of The Reptiles’ first full-length album, 13 Songs For The Rodeo Grrls.
With songs plucked from various stages of the band’s songwriting existence, 13 Songs For The Rodeo Grrls is certainly worth the wait. Starting with the catchy organ-spiced campfire garage pop of An Army Of Lovers, morphing into the dirty rockalicious riffage of Skirt,easing back around to The Doors-ish groove and grunt of Pashupatinath Blues, before launching headlong into the slick Exile-era ‘Stones smugness of Where The Action Is (a track originally performed with the late James Darroch back in the day), the album is full of quality songs. Add to that the barrelling iconic Sydney pub rock grunt of More,the sodapop-Stooges attitude of She Hurt Me andthe acidic New Christs excitement of Closer and you’ve got the recipe for a deliciously shabby night of garage pub rock.
There’s also a few choice softer, lighter moments, including the introspective I Confess, the romantic ballad Penelope and the obviously tragic Lullaby For The Never Born allof which ensure this album could never be accused of one-dimensionality.
There are plenty of moments on 13 Songs For The Rodeo Grrls when you could be forgiven for assuming Decline Of The Reptiles had never left us. Maybe, like the inspiration for the band’s name, they’ve just been living under a rock for the last 25 years. It’s good to have Decline Of The Reptiles back in the sun.
If you like this, try: THE TRILOBITES Turn It Around, THE EASTERN GIRL Where Are All The Single Girls?
I94 Bar Records