The Subways - The Subways

The Subways – The Subways

Hertford trio The Subways return, with an obvious fourth album. I’ll put my cards on the table from the start, I’ve never been a massive fan of The Subways. However I have seen them live at least four times, either at festivals, support slots at their own gigs. Each time I was impressed by the energy they exuded, but after a few songs I started to get a bit bored by their frustrating lack of range. That depth of range is also absent from their albums, they start strongly enough, after twenty minutes, of intro, verse, chorus, middle 8, verse, chorus, outro in a 4/4 beat, it starts to get very samey.

From the intro of lead single ‘My Heart is Pumping to a Brand New Beat’, you can tell the Subways haven’t lost any of their bombastic charm that made John Peel champion them, over a decade ago. It says “Don’t worry fans, we might be older, but we’re the same band you liked eleven years ago. We play loud and fast and our vocals are still Pop-Punk”. The next track ‘I’m in Love and It’s Burning My Soul’, reinforces this feeling that this is just more of the same, a charge, that’s fast, loud and catchy. Third track up Taking All the Blame’ is another relentless attack on the senses through a barrage of guitars and syncopated drums.

‘Dirty Muddy Paws’ is the first non-single we hear, ushered in on another thunder of guitars, it possess a riff reminiscent of the Arctic Monkey’s Brianstorm, and it’s a certainly another sturdy rocker. Because of You (Negative Love)’ is a slow acoustic, piano number, while the lyrics are a bit like sixth form poetry, it’s a welcome change of pace. Sadly it doesn’t last long as Just Like Jude’ picks up where Good Times’ left off. We Get Around’ is a sound-a-like for Oh Yeah’, from its structure to Charlotte Cooper’s shouty chorus. And so it continues, the album continues with no deviation from their well worn blueprint. Which is a shame as Because of You’ shows that Billy Lund is capable of successful writing something slower and sentimental.

The downside of this record are the same as every other The Subways release, halfway through you are looking at how many tracks are left. Which is odd as its only 33 minutes in length, but somehow it feels longer. While the song writing is fine and the tracks are catchy, nothing matches the vibrancy of their original breakthrough hits Come On’ or Rock & Roll Queen’, here. The Subways haven’t changed their sound in eleven years, you could argue the same is true of Jack White or the Black Keys, but at least their albums are more enjoyable. Sadly this isn’t an album you need to hear to imagine what it sounds like. As the title says it’s just, the Subways.


God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.