Saturday, 18 January 2014

UK SUBS
















"subversions - Covers"
Year:  2018
Label:  Cleopatra
Format:  CD, LP
Tracks:  12
Time:  36 min.
Genre:  rock
Style:        Garage Rock


















This new studio collection, recorded by the current UK Subs line-up of Harper, Straughan, Gibbs and Oliver is nattily entitled "subversions" and was released on label "Cleopatra Records" on 22 June 2018. The album consists of 12 cover songs, which the band chose themselves, and was recorded at Pat Collier's Perry Vale Studios in London last year, where the last few Subs A-Z albums were recorded. The idea and concept is not original (many bands before did the same "covers album"), but the true is UK Subs have choosen good songs and covering them on the best way. The bands covered are classics of garage rock or simply rock'n'roll such as: The Stooges, MC5, The Yardbirds, Ray Charles, The Diodes, The Saints, Bob Seger, Queens Of The Stone Age, David Bowie, etc. Good result.
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"ziezo"
Year:  2016
Label:  none
Format:  CD , LP
Tracks:  16
Time:  38 min.
Genre:  rock
Style:         Punk  Rock








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"yellow leader"
Year:  2014
Label:  CO
Format:  CD, LP + EP
Tracks:  14
Time:  36 min.
Genre:  rock
Style:        Alternative Rock


















At long last the follow up to the critically acclaimed "XXIV” hits the racks and if anything it’s even better than its predecessor. Firstly the CD contains 14 brand new studio tracks from the Charlie / Jet / Alvin / Jamie line up that has served the UK Subs so well over the last seven years, but one year later record label decided to add a bonus EP with four new songs. Housed in a full colour Hard Back book style package complete with full colour artwork and lyrics to songs that are destined to become staples of the bands live set. Not a duff one amongst them – if only bands half Charlie’s age had half his passion they would surely be much better groups for it. Follow the (Yellow) Leader indeed. This artwork can to remind pop art artists of late 50s and 60s decade as Lichtenstein Roy or  Andy Warhol, and specially on LP vinyl format it's really awesome. Strictly musical, this guys continue to write punk songs as always, but the true is the way how it sounds their guitars, this mid-tempo and sound production, can to remind a little bit alternative rock or grunge bands as: Nirvana, Pearl Jam or Alice In Chains... but just a bit. In 2014 it had a moderate success but the true is with the pass of the years, it become in another good UK Subs album.
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"revolution no: XXIV"
Year:  2012
Label:  CO
Format:  CD, LP
Tracks:  14
Time:  36 min.
Genre:  rock
Style:        Punk  Rock








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"Universal"
Year:  2002
Label:  CO
Format:  CD , LP
Tracks:  15
Time:  36
Genre:  rock
Style:        Punk  Rock



















The bands 21st `official’ album (if you discount the numerous non alphabetical compilations). ust when it seems like the world is full of uncertainties, there's one thing we can always count on: the U.K. Subs. So shame on me for not procuring a copy of their latest record Universal until five months after it was released. Why? Well there are a couple of reasons. Most notably, Charlie Harper and his ever-changing line-up, which on this disc includes Alan Campbell on guitar, Simon Rankin on bass, and Jason Willer of Enemies fame (!) on drums, that make up the U.K. Subs, consistently create some of the best punk rock around, and also because 2002 marks their twenty-fifth year of existence, not an easy feat by any means. Moreover, this, their twenty-first (?) release is a testament to their place in punk's history, present, and future. And lucky me: the first 1500 copies include a bonus live CD, one of which I managed to get my grubby paws on. In any case, the Subs always play with immense heart and conviction-their music never lacks purpose or meaning, as the lyrics, especially on this disc, convey important messages, whether they be social as on "Devolution" and "White Lie" with lines like "Upper class/You're the one I hate/If we had our way/You'd burn at the stake," or political as on "Spoils of War" and "Universal." Since the release of their debut Another Kind of Blues in 1979, a loud, fast, edgy, and aggressive style has been their modus operandi, and they don't stray from this winning formula on Universal, although they do mix things up on a couple of songs. For instance, the brilliant "Spoils of War" includes a ska-tinged breakdown that slows the tempo up briefly, while "Crossfire" is a reggae-infused number and "The Dark" is a rather sedate song. However, the other twelve songs are pure in-your-face punk rock. Simply stated, nobody does it better. Just listen to the tumultuous "White Lie," "Papers Lie," with its frantic music and pleading vocals, the hectic yet emotional "Fragile," or "Hollywood." Clocking in at one minute 38 seconds, it's a short, blatant renunciation of the industry. So, this is an extremely solid release from one of the true stalwarts of punk. It's just as good as their earlier stuff like the aforementioned Blues and 1980's Brand New Age, and rivals 1996's two memorable releases Riot and Quintessentials. These guys could show those tame, radio-friendly so-called "punk" bands a thing or two. As for the bonus live disc, it's recorded at a show in 2000, has superb sound quality, and includes sixteen classic punk tunes, such as "C.I.D.," "Stranglehold," and great renditions of "Limo Life" and "New York State Police." (*NOTE = this review was written by Janellej ). "Universal" was / is a clear manifest to show the UK SUBS opposition to all nationalisms, borders and prejudices (racial, sexual, etc). Their lyrics are not crealy political in the sense of bands such as CRASS, but their songs always show the points of view of the band related to many aspects of our society, environment, etc. Apart, to mention this album has released several times through different labels on different formats: CD, LP and cassette, and even some of them including a second album recorded in live. This link here below is the more simple versions of "Universal" (fifthteen tracks). Enjoy these big guys!














































































"riot"
Year:  1997
Label:  Cleopatra
Format:  CD, LP
Tracks:  15
Time:  32 min.
Genre:  rock
Style:        Punk  Rock


















The original UK SUBS lineup reunited in 1996 and recorded over 30 songs, releasing them simultaneously on 2 separate discs - each one a bit over a half hour long - to commemorate their 20th anniversary. This is part 2 ("Riot") while part 1 is called "Quintessentials" with cover, back and artwork almost identical of "Riot". For several reasons generally people and press use to consider this second part better in all senses than first part, despite both albums sound quite similar. Here UK SUBS recorded simply a a handful of good songs in the classic, pure, simple and direct british 1977 punk rock... nothing more, nothing less... "Riot" is no doubt recommended for all those who love that old sound.







































































































"Occupied"
Year:  1996
Label:  Fall Out
Format:  CD , LP
Tracks:  16
Time:  33 min.
Genre:  rock
Style:        Punk  Rock







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"normal service resumed"
Year:  1993
Label:  Fallout
Format:  CD, LP
Tracks:  14
Time:  34 min.
Genre:  rock
Style:        Punk  Rock



















Forgot and underrated UK Subs album coul be this one from 1993, which then, was almost unotticied for the most of hardcore punk scene. But which the pass of the years has got more acceptance. There are two formats, one is the simple fourteen songs album. The second one comes accompanied with a long live concert in Croatia. The download link you can see here below includes just the studio album. It sounds good and well produced, with perhaps some rhythmic guitars hard-rock oriented, but the whole keep the typical UK Subs pun rock style.
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"killing time"
Year:  1988
Label:  Red Archives
Format:  CD , LP
Tracks:  12
Time:  35 min.
Genre:  rock
Style:         New Wave



















Despite UK SUBS is a typical band which almost always record the same music on the same albums... there are some very good exceptions. One of them could be "food of flies" or this one here entitled "killing time", perhaps the most unknown and underrated UK SUBS album ever. I discovered it few time ago after so many years listening to the band. It seem after an hiatus of five years with no activity and total musical silence, Harper decided to have a reunion with the classic line-up who recorded the best UK SUBS albums... and the surprise was and is this piece of great album, more melodic than normal, softer and slower, maybe because it is closer to some kind of "new wave" in the way of late 80's decade. The result is more than satisfactory and is  bit sad this album became forgot because it has truly good songs and a kind of hommage to sixtie band The Velvet Underground. You will don't lost nothing to listen to it a few... very recommended.
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"flood of lies"
Year:  1983
Label:  Fallout
Format:  LP , CD
Tracks:  12
Time:  35 min.
Genre:  rock
Style:         Post Punk





















To affirm UK Subs is another typical punk band which repeat again and again the same schedule, the same topical lyrics and the same song... is not exactly true. This band is obviously well known for their punk rock 1977 style albums, but there are few exceptions which show another way of music. "flood of lies" is their best example how these guys know also how to do good post-punk music, with electronic drums, voices with reverb effects and some kind of dark atmospheres. With the pass of the years this album has become in an essential UK Subs album, and it has been re-issued through different record labels (Scarlet, Fallout, Captain Oi!Let Them Eat Vinyl, Deck, etc.), with some changes on artwork, remastered sound and track list. The original "flood of lies" of 1983 has just twelve songs and few more than thirty minutes, but there were different issues with bonus songs, extras, etc.
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"Endangered species"
Year:  1982
Label:  Warner
Format:  CD
Tracks:  14
Tracks:  35 min.
Genre:  rock
Style:         Punk  Rock



















UK SUBS were another group that emerged from the scene at The Roxy in London in 1977. Founder and Lead Vocalist Charlie Harper was playing in R&B and pub rock groups before being influenced by bands like The Damned to turn to punk. The band was based around Charlie Harper's growling cockney vocals with Nicky Garratt on Guitar, Paul Slack on Bass and a variety of drummers. Although adopting punk stylings, the bands work was still heavily influenced by Rhythm & Blues, albeit played fast. Their sound was most similar to Sex Pistols or even old bands like Rolling Stones or Stooges. For this reason the band decided to entitled its debut album: "Another kind of blues". After few years UK SUBS was influenced by 1982 punk bans, more speed and agressive, and even a little bit "crossover" late 80s. In 1996 UK SUBS returned to the roots and made songs with a typical 1977 sound and tempo.
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"brand new age"
Year:  1980
Label:  Sony
Format:  CD, LP
Tracks:  14
Time:  29 min.
Genre:  rock
Style:        Punk  Rock


















Don’t Hesitate to Revolt. UK Subs are like a clot of pure energy, they are as unstoppable as a lightning and they are warheads ready to explode… “There's a burning sun and it sets in the western world but it rises in the east and pretty soon it's gonna burn your temples down.” Every song is an attack: emotional, sonic and rhythmic. So just get ready for “Kicks”: “Get my kicks on speed – a fast car is all I need. Get my kicks on you – a lot of time little to do. Kicks for depression, need my kicks for my aggression, kicks for depression – kick oppressors and oppression.”
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"another kind of blues"
Year:  1979
Label:  Sony
Format:  CD, LP
Tracks:  17
Time:  35 min.
Genre:  rock
Style:        Punk  Rock



















Making refference to attracion for blues, rhythm'n'blues and hard-rock, UK Subs debut album is entitled as "another kind of blues" and If perhaps is not the best album of the band, is with no doubt next to "endangered species" their best known. The true is the sound, production and technical level is not too much good, but the whole of the album sounds real, authentic, honest and sincere. The band started in 1977 and played in "Roxy Music Club" next to a long list of emerging bands.
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