In 2004, The Subways were a trio of teenagers who won a competition to play on The Other Stage at Glastonbury. Their debut album followed a year later and a decade on they now release their fourth album and the first to be produced by frontman Billy Lunn. The outfit have a packed tour schedule for the next couple of months, taking in much of the European circuit before a run of UK shows.
The initial success experienced by The Subways can be attributed to a combination of their strong touring ethic and simple, catchy rock anthems. Whilst the former remains their forte, the last two albums have failed to capture the qualities of early hits such as '1A.M.' and 'With You'. Thankfully, this self-titled effort sees them back on form and whilst it isn't a re-invention of the wheel, the likes of 'Taking All The Blame' and 'My Heart Is Pumping To A Brand New Beat' are easily enjoyed. Lunn has a competent vocal style for the genre, though is less suited to more subtle efforts such as 'Because Of You (Negative Love)', but an evolution to their sound is Charlotte Cooper using a softer approach. Be it on lead or backing vocals, it works well and should be given more consideration for future material.
In the main, the band rarely stray from catchy rock riffs, but 'Good Times' stands out for an edge towards punk, while 'Dirty Muddy Paws' is a fun romp with hugely infectious guitar parts. If one track does stand out as the best of the bunch then it is 'Just Like You', a song with more bounce than a space hopper and some great harmonies that aren't usually associated with The Subways. The only criticism of it is that at less than two minutes running time it is too short - which brings up something of an uncommon feature of this album. The band have never been afraid of songs that are over quickly, but not since their debut have they had such a concentration on one record - only two of the dozen here clock in at over three minutes. Any material that doesn't work well is quickly forgotten, leaving a direct and digestible record that is the band's best since their first release.
Continue reading: The Subways - The Subways Album Review
Festival fun in London! Highlights include Jabberwocky, Camden Crawl and Wireless...
If you want a unique festival experience this year, London could be the place for you. Featuring a diverse range of events from the independent ethics of Jabberwocky to the mainstream attitude of Wireless, 2014 is not all about the States.
The UK is home to some incredible, highly respected music festivals such as Isle of Wight Festival, Leeds and Reading Festival and, of course, Glastonbury - but just what do we have in store from the nation's capital? London is unquestionably the UK's most vibrant city and, when it comes to music, there's really no denying that. The rest of the world may have SXSW, Coachella, Ultra and Exit (to name but a very small few), but London has a plethora of unique local events with line-ups and atmospheres that really prove their worth - and we're here to share them with you.
Jabberwocky (August 15th-16th)
All Tomorrow's Parties present this brand new festival for 2014, co-hosted by Pitchfork and Primavera Sound and set to take place at The Excel Centre this August. For its inaugural event, Jabberwocky will see headline acts from Neutral Milk Hotel, James Blake, Darkside and Caribou, not to mention support from Kurt Vile & The Violators, Hookworms and Electric Wizard. Like many of the best festivals, it's not all about the music as Jabberwocky will be hosting some film events and, as the name suggests, there'll be plenty of art to enjoy too. Tickets are priced at £38.50 per day.
Continue reading: Keep Calm And Party On! London's Ten Most Exciting Festivals For 2014