Underclass UK

London’s Underclass UK have a new LP out and it isnít half bad. “Always Darkest Before the Dawn” opens the LP with a clear noodly intro and almost immediately I’m reminded of ANL’s “Animal” in the vocal and overall sound. The direct vocal is slightly muffled, but lyrically and vocally anthemic in equal measure. There’s more than a hint of 80’s Rock in there too but the abrupt ending is totally Punk – a great start! “Checking Out” again is noodly in the intro, (there’s a theme here)! The chunky bass sits in the background yet again I’m hearing a dark Rock influence. A big noodly bridge matches more anthemic vocals, most notably in the chorus.

“One Size Fits All” has a much faster, Punkier intro. The aggressive vocal style is reminiscent of many early 80’s Punk bands, yet the guitars scream “hair metal”! “Rats” is noodly with a racey intro and big hitting. The vocals unsurprisingly are anthemic with a chunky bass in the back ground. I find the bridge overlong, despite the intricate picking leading back to that loud, strong vocal. I just don’t get the working title?

Underclass UK

“How’s Your Father” seems to have a more personal feel lyrically, autobiographical or story telling maybe. Ballsy, huge vocals matched by an equally huge bass you really feel for the subject. “Under The Sun” vocally has more than a nod to Jaz Coleman (Killing Joke), and the music isnít far off! “Rip Your Face Off” has a guitar intro Steve Jones (Pistols) would be proud of. The vocal that follows is loud and in yer face and while heavy in places, the chord changes are quite unique to this collection. The song ending is simply great.

“Lost In Your Dreams” is fast and furious from the outset, and I’m guessing another song from the personal arena. More “Animal” – inspired vocals alligned to hard hitting and noodly guitars-it reminds me of ANL’s “Pig Iron”, which is no mean feat. “Give It Back” reminds me of The Cult (minus Astbury’s vocal). The drums powerfully hold the song together and it’s straighter up Punk than its predecessors and hints at a wider sound. That wholesome bass thumps in the background with yet more dark vocals in the chorus.

Underclass UK

“Groomed” has a big bassy intro amid more noodling. Harder hitting with a “radio friendly” vocal and a noodly bridge, it reminds me of The Wildhearts. “How Many Times” shares a similar intro to “How’s Your Father” but is the standout track here. Strong vocals in the direct chorus, it’s very Street punk with its stretched chords, noodling (again) and heavy drumming. ‘Infected’ starts with a clicky guitar intro, powerful yet clangy in the bass and angry in the vocal. The UK82 style vocal delivery is not lost here, allied to the swirling guitars in the bridge and the thumping drums on this most Punk of offerings on here. “Don’t Call Me, (I’ll Call You)” begins with big hitting in the intro and throughout with noodling aplenty before more anthemic choruses. However, the production and overall sound is very professional. I’ll go out on a limb and suggest an “80’s Goth” influence here!

As good as this album may be, my biggest bugbear it seems is this-it cant decide whether it’s Punk, Post/Punk, Rock or Hair Metal. There are so many influences going on that even I’m not sure! That said, the production is tight and the overall sound decent. With a revolving door of band members over their timeline it’s easy to understand why this is the case. I just feel they could benefit from being singular in their chosen genre. It’s Punk alright, but not exclusively.

Stuart Newman – Vocals & Guitars,
Andrew Price – Lead Guitar & Vocals,
Pumpy – Drums
Charlie – Bass.

Track Listing
Always darkest before the dawn
Checking out
One size fits all
How’s your father
Under the sun
Rip your face off
Lost in your dreams
Give it back
How many times?
Don’t call me (I’ll call you)



Words by Ross A. Ferrone.

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