The Subways have enjoyed peaks and troughs of success over their decade of existence, but have always maintained a very high standard of good ol’ fashioned British rock ‘n’ roll, using punk influences yet remaining relevant for indie and more mainstream audiences.
Album number four sees the band take the wheel on all aspects of the production; frontman Billy Lunn boldy volunteered for full producing, mixing and writing power, and the results for the appropriately self-titled record are as expected: more catchy, raunchy and vigourous rock tracks with impressive dual-gender vocals and choruses to whet a frantic appetite.
Fans who were confident enough to pre-order ‘The Subways’ were lucky enough to lay their teeth into the first half of the album before the official release date, treating themselves to the action packed ‘Dirty Muddy Paws’ about Lunn‘s troubles with alcohol and the effects it had on his marriage, as well as an apology to bassist Charlotte Cooper for his actions during their relationship in the form of ‘Taking All The Blame’.
The extra personal tales on this release give it the honest intrigue that helps the listener delve into the minds of the band and relate to the music; the genuine songwriting easily provides a depiction of the thought process behind each lyric, and allows the user to lose themselves in the sentimental world of someone else.
As hard-hitting singles go for The Subways, ‘I’m In Love And It’s Burning In My Soul’ is up there with the best. Lunn takes control of the introduction with a muted guitar riff and dominant vocals, before his lead in to the chorus lets Cooper take over for the title lyrics and create a mouth watering contrast.
The alternative shouting of The Subways has seen them succeed as a gateway between radio indie music and heavier material, and crossover to a variety of genre live shows, having played with Taking Back Sunday, Oasis, and even AC/DC. But, their highlights have always been when they churn out a top guitar riff, like ‘My Heart Is Pumping To A Brand New Beat’ and ‘Pet Boy’, which instantly lays down the basis of a great rock song.
The Hertfordshire band may not be at the top of their game in terms of success and mainstream attention, but ‘The Subways’ proves that they still have so much to offer musically. Their constant level of size over the last few years has allowed them to concentrate on their own enjoyment of playing perfectly-sized packed venues, and writing pretty damn great tunes. Long live The Subways.
Written by Michael Heath (@MikeBeef)