Review of The Subways Album by The Subways

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 Subways The Subways Album

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.  


Alex Lai

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