UK Decay – New Hope for the Dead
Post-punk originators UK Decay are presenting listeners with a new, politically charged effort over thirty years after the release of their first LP. Surprisingly, it's packed with the same kind of energy one would associate with a much younger band.
Sonically, New Hope for the Dead is full of contradictions. The new cuts are rough around the edges, but the production is unmistakably modern. Ed Branch's throbbing bass grooves are often met with discordant string parts. This gives the tracks a deliciously ugly, hostile feel, but whether it's the rebellious stomp of Falling Through History or Steve Abbot's distinctive, half-spoken rants on album closer Drink, the hooks and melodies always shine through clearly.
Whether the reasons are nostalgia-driven or merely financial, band reformations are usually met with a collective sneer. But like Swans and Mission of Burma before them, UK Decay have proven their relevance with a fruitful set of new recordings.
• Listen to Shake Me Up (Holy Ghost) here.