Deadlock UK

When “old school” Punks Deadlock UK’s new LP arrived at RR Towers there was only ever one reviewer gonna get the job – well here goes! Aldershot based Deadlock UK have reconvened over the last couple of years after a hiatus dating back to 1981, and on this evidence, it was far too long. This LP will appeal to anyone who hankers after the sound of the 3rd wave (ie 1980 onwards).

Where better to start than with “Scrap the Town Hall” – if ever there was a statement of intent on the first song, this is it! UK82 guitars; matched by a snarly vocal, complete with an anthemic chorus – it’s a call to arms if you will. The stretched chord middle 8 is accompanied by a simple cymbal-led drumbeat, while lyrically it has that classic “anti local government” theme-delivered albeit slightly humorously. A great opener. “Secret Police” follows in a similar pattern with clangy chords and a vocal that reminds me of “Jamo” (The Threats). Slightly slower tempo with a subject matter straight outta the 80’s era, lyrically thought-provoking with “Chron-Gen-esque” guitars running right through it.

“Squadron” begins again with a clangy guitar intro before an echoey, loud hailer-style vocal takes over. The chorus is anthemic if a little jumbled, but those clangy guitars are the overriding feature here which don’t disappoint. The lyrics themselves would suggest maybe a squadron “history” – factual or fiction I’m really not sure, you the listener decide. “Gambling Man” stays in the same vein with echoes of Peter & The Test Tube Babies – it’s slightly humourous but one wonders whether autobiographical or an ode to a friend/associate. The bridge is noodly, retaining those clangy chords over a simple beat and crisp, clear vocal.

“Forgotten Youth” – Take any band from the 80’s Punk era, add the subject matter of the times and what do you get? “Forgotten Youth”! A great hark back to a bygone era and not dated in the slightest. The guitars remind me of “Another Dead Soldier” (Anti Pasti). Another noodly bridge and some intricate drumming proceed to the end; allied to an anthemic, singalong chorus. At a risk of repeating myself those clangy guitars accompany a strong and direct vocal on “Cowards”. Storytelling and social commentating lyrically; with a strong drumbeat, this is definitely a song for the live arena. The scuzzy bass in the background is matched by an anthemic chorus, while there is a superb use of echo on the ending.

Deadlock UK

“No Police, No Love Songs” effortlessly borrows the riff from the Sex Pistols “C’mon Everybody” to great effect to open this song. It’s tongue in cheek and really there is nothing more to say other than it’s just a humorous aside to the boys in blue. “Speeding Along” has (to me) echoes of “The Ejected”. Once again a comical if somewhat tongue-in-cheek number, more in Dirt Box Disco territory if we’re gonna be more up to date! Classic fast-paced 3rd wave Punk with a trademark singalong chorus I’m no longer surprised to hear from this band. I cannot wait to hear this live!

“Mercenaries” has that army-themed content all over it. “Exploited” come to mind but I could’ve chosen from many. Lyrically observant with a hard, rat-a-tat drumbeat. Heartfelt honest vocals; delivered with menace in a slightly muffled form is quite a departure from most of the songs on this collection, making it a standout track here. I’m guessing “Dead Quiet” is written from a personal perspective. Maybe an ode to a hated hometown or just an honest observation. Some great chord changes are accompanied by a snarly vocal, anthemic in places with a noodly ending.

“Waiting” straight away reminds me of the main riff in the UK Subs “Teenage”. Not a game changer lyrically and goes off on a tangent in the bridge, but not a bad song either. The album closes rather poignantly with “UK79” – and with my referencing throughout it seems somewhat apt. The chiming chord intro builds into the big beat and direct, confrontational vocal. Huge influences from the era are displayed here – the “twisted” chord section at the end is great; while the song ending is superb, leaving you just wanting more.

This is a fine collection from a band whose fires are clearly still burning. Yes, there are all the obvious influences, but they truly deliver. With Rebellion 2016 only 11 weeks away there must be a slot on one of the “new” band stages. I for one hope so as this is a band who certainly wouldn’t disappoint the “uk82” brigade.

Track Listing
Scrap the Town Hall
Secret Police
Gambling Man
Forgotten Youth
No Police, No Love Songs
Speeding Along
Dead Quiet
UK ’79

Band members
Mark (fez) Vox
Paul (puke) Guitar
Richie (rus) Bass
Patrick (sully) Drums


Review by Ross A. Ferrone.

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