The Subways - Young For Eternity
Alex Worsnip 04/07/2005
The rise to fame for The Subways has been quick and unwarranted in equal measure.
They embody the same young-band-who've-heard-an-Undertones-record sound as early Ash, but far less successfully. Halfway between classic 90s britpop and more fashionable recent stuff, Young For Eternity is far from the best example of either, full of predictable riffs and cliched rock vocals. Single 'Rock n Roll Queen' is admittedly catchy in a less smutty King Adora kind of way, but has little genuine intensity driving it, flat on pace and produced dully. Throwaway lyrics abound (in an act of ultimate romance, frontman Billy Lunn sings, 'you are the sun/you are the only/you are so cool/you are so rock and roll') and it's about as far removed from the cutting edge as you could get - utterly disposable.
They're the kind of band that you'd be pretty impressed with at a school band night, but a school band is what they are, full of teenager clichés. Of course, the frontman is going out with the compulsory female bassist, and we get the obligatory in-band odes: if I want to hear in-band romance, I'll listen to Joy Zipper, thanks, not some bunch of spotty britpop fans. 'Mary' is The Coral meets Supergrass at their most 60s-aping with less lyrical gravitas, if such a thing were possible; 'Oh Yeah' is cod-punk of the lowest order, and a series of acoustic songs establish the band's predictably sensitive side. The melodies of the album are best described as tacky: superficially appealing but made of cheap plastic that snaps upon first test. Furthermore, next to even younger US bands like Bet Your Own Pet - not my thing but undeniably cooler, better and more original - The Subways pale into insignificance.