Tuesday, 6 December 2011

The Subways: 'Money & Celebrity' Album Review

The Subways haven't really achieved much since their first release ('Young For Eternity') in 2005. Despite their spectacular live shows (notably at Reading and Leeds festivals) and the fact their d├ębut album went gold, the band have been unable to get much more than a cult following. However, latest album 'Money & Celebrity' could be the album that changes all of that for the band.

Luckily for fans, this doesn't involve selling out in any way. The band doesn't stray too far from the formula that they have used on previous albums, with the album consisting of the usual mix of punk and indie songs that we've grown to expect from the band. There is in fact only one thing that make the third album different to any other album by the band, and that is the anthemic quality of the songs.

'It's A Party!' opens the album with its catchy lyrics and infectious beat, supported by one of the band's sleaziest riffs. This is followed by the album's lead single 'We Don't Need Money To Have A Good Time'; a song that sees the band at their most anthemic, with the chorus being a call to everybody to just enjoy life. Billy Lunn's snarled lyrics and punk guitar accentuate this chorus, making it all the more prevalent.

'Celebrity' is a straight-forward rock number, with a main guitar riff sounding not unlike a long-lost song by The Jam, and 'I Wanna Dance With You' is a subtly softer song that shows the band still have that softer side.

'Popdeath' is one of the more interesting songs on the album, combining both the band's softer and heavier sides together in a single track. It most certainly isn't the best song the band has ever produced, but it has a lot of room to grow live.

As we get half-way through the album, we find two songs that seem like they were written with the intention of being performed at arenas. 'Like I Love You' is an infectious song that contrasts downbeat lyrics with a very upbeat chorus melody, whereas 'Money' sounds like a song that was written during the 'Young For Eternity' sessions but has since developed into an anthemic punk-rock gem.

'Kiss Kiss Bang Bang' and 'Down Our Street' are probably the worst songs on the album, with weak lyrics (with "Down our street/ Something's always happening/ [Doo doo doo]" from the latter being a fine example of why) and with instrumentation that lacks inspiration. However the band is forgiven for this after hearing 'Rumour', a song which has the potential to be great live and features some of the album's best lyrics, instrumentation and vocal harmonies. 'Friday' continues the level of quality by combining anthemic lyrics with a powerful guitar solo and instrumentation that will easily be the cause of quite a few moshpits.

The album concludes with the softer sounding 'Leave My Side', a song which is easily one of the band's finer soft moments. With a chorus constructed just for big venues and sing-a-longs, it is clear that this song is definitely going to be a stand-out track at shows.

Only time will tell whether this will be the moment the band get success and mainstream recognition at long last, but one thing is for sure: they most certainly deserve it. Fans of Green Day will not be disappointed by this album.


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