The Predators – Social Decay – 1983

I have no idea how I ever got copies of the three albums from The Predators back in the early 80’s. I don’t even know how the were distributed here in the US. I don’t even remember buying them. All I know is that I love all three and this, Social Decay, is just fabulous. When the dictionary defines “new wave” they should have a picture The Predators. Heavy keyboard dominated dance music with guitar stylings taken straight from The Knack and vocals at times sounding eerily like Bill Walden of early Undercover fame. In fact, the first Undercover album may be a decent comparison, though much more musical and stronger songwriting.But it is not a stretch to hear comparisons to Weber and the Buzztones, Quickflight, Elvis Cotello and even Ishmael United. There is a great combination of straight ahead evangelical lyrics and thoughtful and vague pop themes, but all with a Biblical worldview. “Man in My Room” has the feeling of a stalker story until you realize the song is about the Holy Spirit. “Stand Up and Be Counted” is a Christian anthem and “Nasty Video” addresses the problem of modern cinema and its impact. Their catalog is a tough find but worth the effort for those with an affection for early 80’s new wave pop.

Contributor David Lowman –

1 – Jack – 3:10
2 – Free World – 3:09
3 – Man In My Room – 4:07
4 – Stand Up And Be Counted – 3:45
5 – Lost At Sea – 3:48
6 – 2 Out Of 7 – 3:49
7 – One More Time – 3:12
8 – Wipe The Tears – 4:16
9 – Nasty Video – 3:02
10 – Never Say Die – 3:26

Bass, Vocals – Andy Rayner
Drums, Percussion – Francis Johnson
Engineer – Mick Robson
Guitar – Kelvin Allwood
Keyboards, Vocals – Brian Westhead
Producer – John Pantry
Vocals – Kevin Smith

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Author: David Lowman

Owner and writer at CCM's 500 Best Albums Of All Time.

One thought on “The Predators – Social Decay – 1983”

  1. I would like to pay tribute to the late Kelvin Allwood; friend, guitarist and follower of Jesus. In the latter case that translated to loving action in all areas of his life, work and leisure; much of the latter being devoted to his local church in the northern English city of Sheffield, fishing, his two dogs (now also passed away) and his first love of fishing; or was it music?
    His guitar skills were oh so subtle, sometimes even under the radar (unusual for a guitarist) but always imaginative; and, as demonstrated on the tracks linked here sometimes almost impossible to identify as guitar only. I mean, listen to his picking sequences in particular, are keys involved there? I’ll leave that to your ear!
    In 1987 I had the unenviable task but great privilege and challenge of replacing Kelvin on guitar for the recording of The Preds third album ‘Offensive’ and a busy schedule of gigs following it, all around greater Manchester. Truth is I couldn’t do it; I could do ‘me’ but I could never ‘do’ Kelvin and still struggle these days in 2022 as I play for the sake of memories. My response to Kev when he phoned me and offered me the job was “…don’t be silly, go get a proper guitarist!” I enjoyed and was deeply challenged by the privilege of playing in this excellent band, taking me into many pub and club venues that previous I would have feared to tread, but as is often the case my playing (and my courage) improved massively as a result.
    I am though clear about one thing. The Predators were not the same without Kelvin and to this day affirm that the band was at its very best in the ‘Kelvin years’. On stage his focussed concentration and almost timid presence produced great power (and volume) and was the perfect balance to Kevin’s aggressive, sometimes outrageous cutting delivery of the Gospel of Jesus into the darkest of places. The Preds were compassionate, surprisingly sensitive and empathetic off stage but onstage, and in the post-punk early 80s world, they were a force to be reckoned with and Kelvin was a big part of that story.

    Kelvin passed away on 11 September 2019. Well, that’s how the English-speaking world would put it. I say he was promoted!

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