The following review appeared on the Fungalpunk website:
U.K. SUBS - WORK IN PROGRESS
Need I take my time and introduce this band who I deem the most honest, hard-working punk rock band of all time and who have been at the top of my fave punk band tree since day 1. The journey has been long, dedicated and enjoyable and it is just tremendous for fans like myself when, after all these years, a new album is released and it is nothing less than fuckin' marvellous. As this unit (well primarily Charlie Harper and a bunch of merry men) work their way through the alphabet I can't help but admire this latest offering and the deep rooted flavours that are maintained as well as all the usual punk rock trimmings. With Charlie at the helm it would be severe bad luck indeed if SS Subs were to go astray and hit a critical iceberg and I am happy to say the band are still sailing strong and do it with such simplicity and remarkable effect. Right enough of my wafflings - anchors away...
The first wave that is created as port is left is the massive, all consuming sound entitled 'Creation'. I have been listening to this one for some time now as I have it on a solid 5 track release and it just really does improve with age. The opening drill is hard before Charlie joins in with stated warnings. A tub-thump and the main drive is at us with the Subs already baring sharpened teeth ready to tear your punk flesh apart. Outside the usual routine, angry and with a manic belief, this is a violent vortex you will do well not to get sucked into. Drums splatter, guitars works as a team with the six-string machine peeling away only to accentuate and dissect the main thrust. A mightily impressive opening. 'Tokyo Rose' is smoother and adopts a gentler approach. A tuneful tale adopting the more soulful side of the Subs with melody first and foremost and any thought of aggression left abandoned. This train of toneage is travelled quite ideally by the band and is found, more often than not, on all albums. I do have a preference for the crews harder side but as a fan can't help but like moments like this.
'Hell Is Other People' is restless and has the gob at the fore in typical sub-singing style. The waters are choppy, there is no time to find ones assessing feet and the rebellious substrate the song is built upon is never far away from being ripped up. Again all is not content and from that standpoint is where the Subs have always, and always will, thrive. The build up to the finale asks the question as to whether full chaos will ensue - control is held and we fade out with delight. 'The Axe' is orthodox fare with a few extra additions. The winning edge comes from the fact that the song is easily picked up, digested and not troubled over. A slower more considered number that will fail to raise the potentially pogoing feet but will encourage the head to nod in agreement. Its fine enough but nothing outrageous and perhaps is my least favoured track of the lot. See, being a fanatic of the band still doesn't stop me from being honest - its called real punk rock in case you were wondering - try it sometime suckers!
'Radio Unfriendly' is a class cut and harks back to songs borne of the 'Quintessential/Riot' double release when a new lease of life was found and this band decided to up the ante and roll out some genuine beauts. This promotes DIY and kicks the idling dross we hear on the airwaves well and truly into the bin. It is good to know the Paradise is still Burning with a scorching flame if ya get my drift. After the previous high I wonder where this CD can go next and find myself confronted by an unexpected giant. 'This Chaos' questions societies systematic tiers, the roles we find ourselves forced into and the general lie where disorder is palmed off as civilisation. The opening sequence is sublime and sets the stage before the initial shouts of 'Chaos' are had. The flow increases and this unit is operating with glory without even breaking sweat. Charlie questions, the crew offer negative answers and a solo ensues showing the progression that Jet has made and how he his now a settled member of the Subs Squad. Anyone doubting if the UK army had anything left in the tank need think again - its all there and not one fan of this lot will have any room for complaint.
Mr Gibbs of the four throbbing wires takes centre stage next and gives us an Urbanised Mongrel offering I have so much enjoyed especially from the classic album 'Wipe-out Beach'. Alvin likes to have an erudite angle and up the 'thinking' stakes. This one has a spiteful undercurrent and pokes and prods at the followers of the fakes where money is gained via the route of vulnerability. The cloaked crusaders who reel off their self-written drivel can almost be seen to squirm as AG snipes and rattles out this high quality ditty. Comfortable and punked - do ya need more? Pace kicks down with the next two with the grinding sub-sleaze of 'Eighteen Wheels' travelling hard and with a touch of Billy-o rock. The rubber burnt is deliberate and driven down a different road taken thus far and the change is indeed welcome. Westernised with sonic spurs glistening in the midday sun this is a song to cruise to and to drink yer liquor to boy. 'Children Of The Flood' is similarly paced but is altogether borne from a different rhythmic vagina. The initial embryo writhes with ecstatic guitar before becoming more controlled and of a more manageable state. This a modern day political outpouring asking what the fuck is going on as the world turns to liquid and the power mongers sail free with loaded pockets. The problem of overpopulation isn't avoided and a doom laden end result is had. I like the way this one provokes thought and as a lover of the natural world appreciate the intention. It is a good tune too – bonus!
'All Blurs Into One' is a classy affair that threatens to erupt and does its best to retain the classical approach and well constructed mode. A brief glimpse is given of a more inflammable episode before a guitar chops the song up and Harper mouths off with glory. The players back him and a genuinely exciting moment is found. Back to the initial routine and it is only a matter of time before the strings slice the thread and the title is given a repeat mode outburst. Magnificent as is the unexpected switch off and renewed spurt of life. An all round triumphant song and one to relish over and over (and over) again! 'Blood' drips to the floor with paranoia. The glossy sheen presented is stylised, grooved up and with a chorus that is seemingly stripped away in ever-enhancing layers. One you may overlook I reckon this - do so at your peril - the power may not be overtly apparent but its there in abundance my good punker.
'Rock N Roll Whore' is the sure-fire winner in the pack and is just one good jolly tune to get yer punk rocks off to (even if they are Chinese hint, hint). Easy listening and pure rhythmic spiky top tuneage with all the elements of the pick up and throw away culture so many of us appreciate. Anyone who loves this album will find no fault with this whatsoever and this kind of approachable noise will win much praise from the passing listening lug. Sweetly produced and dealing with those open-legged wasters who some admire and some consider useless spunk receptacles it is pure rock ‘n’ roll nonetheless. A fuck and a suck may be a cheap thrill but this song is something more. 'Strychnine' for me will appeal to the bluesed up brigade who like it old school. Again all components are present and correct and making for a good old shindig with reminiscences of older Subs tunes forever clawing at the door. What can I add - this is regular Subbage to be swigged - get drunk punk!
'Robot Age' closes and entrances with a looping machine-like grind bursting with automated success and persuasive apocalyptic futurism. With Metropolis-like systematic insistence this is a solid wind down and is ground out with thorough desire. The noise is absorbing and done in a hard laboured style and in some ways upholds the inkling that this 4 pronged gadget of cacophony is still working on sound batteries. Great stuff!
So the UK Subs do it again and do it in fine fuckin' style. Varied but without becoming ridiculously experimental just for the sake of it all the basic properties are there for the faithful followers and much new unleashed energy for the recent admirers. If this was the bands debut album back in the day of yore we'd all be hailing the band as the greatest thing ever. I do anyway but will this persuade you too? Shake off the shackles of time - get real, keep moving forward and appreciate this for what it is - brilliant.