UK Subs: Endangered Species

UK Subs: Endangered Species

UK Subs: Endangered Species
Label: New Red Archives
Release Date: 1997
Recording Date: 1982
Review Date: 2000

If you were fortunate to come across this album on vinyl, you are already aware that this is by far the most ambitious and best produced album that the UK Subs ever delivered. The closest a punk band could come to a concept album (well… not including Sandanista) Untill recently, if you wanted to listen to Endangered Species on CD, you had to put up with the double issue of Endangered Species that runs right into the horrible and completely boring Huntington Beach Ca, the record title, not the town. The Huntington Beach recordings contain mindnumbing generic hardcore that is like a slap in the face after listening to Endangered Species. Thanks to New Red Archives you no longer have to sprint for the controls to avoid marring the perfection of Flesh Wound, the last track on Endangered Species. In stead, you are treated to two bonus tracks that must have been singles or leftovers from the sessions, but are still enjoyable. Almost every track here is killer. The title track starts off the album in typical UK Subs energy and delivery. Tracks like Ambition carry on where Lazy Sod leaves off. Fear of Girls is quite funny considering the image and stance of the band. Sensitive Boys and Down on the Farm hint at a more subtle approach that is mastered perfectly as the album continues with the Wire-like vibe of %8×5 and the Asimovian I Robot. Flesh Wound still ends too soon. I’m not alone in considering this record as the pinnicale of the UK Subs achievements. Guitarist and keyboardist Nicky Garrat, who also produced this record reveals that this is his favorite work in an interview on the label’s web site – Unlike many re-releases, the New Red Archives treatment comes with complete reproductions of the original cover art as well as lyrics and a photos inside, including a color photo on the disc itself. It’s obvious that this was a labor of love for everyone involved. Depending on how you look at it, the UK Subs either degenerated into mediocrity or they went back to their roots. I prefer to think of Endangered Species as a perfect snapshot of one of the many directions that the early punk bands made possible by destroying accepted interpretations of popular music. If you feel likewise, the New Red Archives label is definitely worth checking out.

Endangered Species: A+

Online Action:
Snail Mail: New Red Archives P.O. Bx 210501, San Francisco Ca 94121

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