Saturday, September 13, 2008

Album Review: The Subways - All Or Nothing

England continues to pump out quality alternative music while Americans are busy listening to the Jonas Brothers. The Subways, from Hertfordshire, released their 2nd full-length album titled "All Or Nothing" this week.

In some respects it is a miracle that this band is still together performing. Lead singer and guitarist Billy Lunn had to undergo surgery to remove nodules formed from long touring, which could have resulted in him not being able to sing or talk. Lunn was able to make a full recovery and the band pressed on.

A familiar name was involved in the production of the album - Butch Vig, who has worked with Nirvana, Sonic Youth and Smashing Pumpkins.

Currently, the band is touring heavy to support this album, but unfortunately for us Yankees they are making infrequent stops in the US.

An element that separates this trio from other alternative bands are the frequent duets of Lunn and bassist Charlotte Cooper. Their harmonies on "All Or Nothing" give their sound a comfortable uniqueness.

The first track "Girls and Boys" begins with a heavy guitar riff and drum line that almost convinces the listener that this is going to be a heavy metal record. After a few measures warming up the mosh pit the song switches to a more comfortable alternative sound. The vocals of Lunn fit great with the music, and Cooper's back-up vocals during the verse and chorus send chills up the spine.

The record continues its hard alternative approach with "Kalifornia" beginning with a hard drum roll. Lunn's vocals are full of angst and only relax on the chorus while he and Cooper chant "Do you feel the paranoia? You will know it's been waiting for you. If you see Kalifornia. You will know its been waiting for you."

The album does have some songs that it could do without. "Move To Newlyn" sounds too much like Third Eye Blind. The title track "All Or Nothing" is boring.

Overall, this is a great album for fans that like harder alternative music.

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