The post-punk period was probably more important than the initial big bang itself, as a myriad of bands around the country served up exciting and inventive music. Forming in Luton, UK Decay confirmed that musical gravity wasn’t the sole preserve of London; there was dark matter in the rudimentary chords of For My Country, an indie anthem in 1980.
By 1982, things had become really interesting with the 10-minute Werewolf plugging into the PiL and Bauhaus mixing board. Both of these are here, but the main course is their 1981 For Madmen Only album, which is finally reissued on CD. Musically, this is a mature statement from beginning to end. Basslines throb, drums clatter and Steve Spon’s guitar work is sharp and melodic. With his lyrics and delivery, Steven Abbott was always the focus of the band, and Shattered, Stage Struck, Last In The House Of Flames and Unexpected Guest are fantastic. Considering what Beggars did for Bauhaus, one wonders how much further UK Decay would have gone with a decent label behind them. Instead, they’ll have to settle for receiving the kudos of influencing bands such as Nine Inch Nails. This CD is a perfect CV.