The Subways recently cranked out a little album called Young for Eternity… and I’m not sure what to think of it. Oh, it’s solid, all right, but the thing that you don’t see too often is when an artist mixes up some raw garage-rock cuts with poppy, acoustic rock, while still maintaining their individual identity.
You start to go into the album with I want to hear what you have to say… it leads off with a more acoustic, and light electric feel that’s poppy, and dare I say it, more among the “top 40” ilk that I wish would just go back into any arbitrary twelve year old girl’s bedroom in the suburbs.
So, I start to get into it for what it is, (or what I think it is), and the song kicks into high gear with heavier electric guitar parts, and a solid drum rhythm that drives the song, and keeps me interested well into the next track. The thing about this band, and moreover this album, is that it sounds like I am listening to a band with garage rock roots that is trying on pop music pants… one leg at a time. Hell, some of the songs, like Mary, give me an almost alterna-rock feel, while songs like Young for Eternity, and Holiday spew out a garage rock feel all down the front of my shirt. I am totally convinced that the Subways have listened to music their entire lives, and have arrived at the recipe for what makes a marketable sound, only right now, they haven’t really figured out what direction they want to evolve in.
Something I can say about this group that I can’t say about other bands, however, is that I’m excited to see where they go next, because whether it’s a more mellow, wuss-rock track like She Sun, or more of a face-melter like Rock & Roll Queen, they hit it square on the head. They have the right ingredients to make a good solid rock album… that’s really the operative word here… solid. The guitar playing is tight with the drumming, and in key (important, but not widely practiced). The drumming is heavy enough to gain my attention and drive the songs, but not too overpowering, and doesn’t use too much splash cymbal, which I’m glad to see bands straying away from lately. The vocals, (one male lead, one female backup) are spot on, with a slightly off key feel that works well for them… a good example would be the cut No Goodbyes, which reminds me of The Wedding Present’s style. Right now though, it’s not quite an album that I can sit down and listen to on its own. It’s more of a background cd, or something to throw into the cd changer when I hit the road for a while with some buddies. So, yeah… the Subways sliced off a little bit of all right with Young for Eternity, and I’ll probably be playing it pretty loud so people that hear it will think I’m cooler than I actually am.