Since the dawn of the SoCal punk revival in the early ‘90s, punk rock bands have been tagged with a mantra: Punk’s not dead. UK Decay takes the meaning to a whole new level with their fresh-off-the-press new album, New Hope For The Dead. With a long history that began in the late 1970s with the group’s conception, until the early ‘80s at their initial breakup, and spawned two reunions in ‘93 and ‘05, this band, like the genre they represent, refuses to lay down and be defeated.
The bar is immediately set high with the crisp rasp in the singer’s voice, and the edgy, hardcore style that’s delivered in the first few opening tracks. “Shake ‘Em Up” gives the listener the impression of that to a true-to-its-roots punk rock group. The two songs that follow, “Heavy Metal Jews” and “Next Generation,” only exemplify that fact, while also showcasing how diverse the band can get as far as synth effects go.
In a genre that’s so heavily saturated right now with pop-punk fandom, it’s a ballsy move to produce a record like this, especially from a group that has transcended nearly three decades of mainstream stylistic change. New Hope For The Dead is anything but antiquated, however. This is an act that’s been around long enough to know how to blend old and new seamlessly, and what you get on this release is a great example of that.
UK Decay came in this time with guns loaded, ready to take on the scene. Their style is hard-edged and percussive, making use of light distortion in favor of overbearing guitar effects, and we even get a glimpse of the seldom seen, though always appreciated, bass solo on “Woman With A Black Heart.” Though it’s a bit of an acquired taste for any and all not familiar with the band and the genre, at the end of the day, you get what you came for.