The Subways – Money and Celebrity (Cooking Vinyl)

September 29, 2011 by  

Just over 7 years have passed since The Subways rose from the depths of Welwyn Garden City to thrash and throw their brand of short, sharp rock back into the faces of the current crop of indie apple carts, upsetting all the trends along the way. They have since paid for their indiscretions with rough live reviews and a poorly received second album, due in no small part to it being heavily leaked a full week prior to release. Despite being an album that critics liked, ‘All or Nothing’ didn’t garner any memorable singles and the time spent away making that album saw the meteoric rise of bands like Snow Patrol and Franz Ferdinand. It meant that they lost the sharpness, zest and most importantly, relevance which had made up their magical debut ‘Young for Eternity.

Another 3 years away from the limelight has been spent crafting ‘Money and Celebrity’ in order to bring themselves back to the heady days of their height. They start off with ‘It’s a Party’ and that is exactly what it seems. The initial feeling is that they are back, alive and kicking. It’s a burst that says we’ve never been away – or at least, we’ve never been any different.

Unlike their previous offerings, the post Britpop-laced compositions are exchanged for clever riffs and power chord structures borrowed from the libraries of Jimmy Eat World et al, and it sounds as if the late fees have been piling up. If the opener is an emo-tinged taste, ‘We Don’t Need Money To Have A Good Time’ is camped in territory occupied by bands like The Offspring, and the feeling of clever pop-punk revelry is clear to see. Lyrically, there’s nothing to shout about, just a lot to shout. The songs are driven by the music, where the words are vehicle for a sentiment that is sometimes lost or barely there.

Despite this, there are some great stompers on show, and sonically the girl/boy combo still works as well as it always did.

There are still glimpses of indie influence scattered about: the opening bars of ‘Down Our Street’ and the feel of the track prove this. ‘Kiss Kiss Bang Bang’ brings the tempo once again, and one of the stand out tracks ‘Rumour’ towards the end mixes and combines all brief styles together with a great opener and fearsome middle.

It winds right down a little with ‘Leave My Side’ which again, is not new country for The Subways, but it is lesser seen on this album with the band opting to rock their way back into your hearts and minds. In some places solid, in others throwaway but oddly enough always displaying an engaging brand of rock, it should appeal to fans and diehards. The train is definitely back on the track, but it is going to take a little more than goodwill to get it all the way to the station.

[rating:3]


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