U.K. Subs play the Melodka, Brno, Czech Republic
CHARLIE HARPER - vocals & harmonica
JET - guitar
ALVIN GIBBS - bass
JAMIE OLIVER - drums
Gig compilation footage and photos by František Obhlidal
The following news story appeared on T&M:
- 12/02/2013: XXIV - the great reviews are strating to roll in!
Check out another resounding thumbs up by Ayisha Khan on the excellent 'Post Punk Music' website...
You can read the original full review HERE
Also archived on T&M below:
U.K. Subs - XXIV
The latest instalment of UK Subs’ alphabetised series 34 years on starts with X, with the band’s newly released studio album, ‘XXIV’, aptly titled to mark their 24th official endeavour.
The album’s artwork, which was a point of contention in the band, is settled on Holly Tudor-Smith’s unconventional image of the Virgin Mary – instead of cradling the baby Jesus, she holds a machine gun to her bosom.
As reflected in the artwork, there are two sides to this Pat Collier produced release in featuring electric tracks alongside the band’s first recorded acoustic collection in their expansive 35-year recording history, stretching back to ‘CID’ and ‘Another Kind Of Blues’. Yet interestingly enough, it is the acoustic tracks over the electric that provide the full flavour of depth to the band’s fantastic songwriting skills.
This being a new venture, UK Subs have DIY experimented with more studio effects normally afforded to punk rock. The electric side begins with drummer Jamie Oliver’s ‘Implosion 77′, complete with megaphone vocals (frequently utilised on the electric) and unusual synthy violin effects, while typical Subs sounding ‘Monkeys’ contains flashes of Jet’s wah-wah guitar and backing vocals. Bassist Alvin Gibb’s LA hardcore styled ‘Black Power Salute’ echoes with snippets of famous Malcolm X speech recordings. ‘Las Vegas Wedding’ is some trashier fun.
On the acoustic front, Ian Hunter’s ‘Angel Of Eighth Avenue’, the first of two cover songs on this release, is sung like folk artistry by Gibbs. Charlie Harper’s own vocals on this side range from gritsy to softly youthful, displaying his ability to remain versatile after so long. His laid back bluesy jig, ‘Souls From Hell’, contrasts with the staccato punch of ‘Stop Global War’. ‘Thunders In The Rain’ is Gibbs’ passionate swinging drive about the dangers of drug use. In all, it’s a deep trip into the human psyche and experience, which flourishes through the Subs’ organic lyric writing and intricate acoustic guitar.
There’s a darker, dirty sweet and salty feel to this album, causing it to differ from the Subs’ last record, ‘Work In Progress’, while still containing filaments of the original shards that make up classic UK Subs material. A collective mixture of street punk-meets-heavy metal, blues, folk, US hardcore, grunge and acoustical variance means there’s nothing quite like it in UK Subs history.
UK Subs’ 24th official album, ‘XXIV’, is currently available as a Deluxe Hardback Digibook edition CD and digital download on Captain Oi! records.
© Ayisha Khan.
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