The Subways – Money and Celebrity (Shock)

The Subways are like your friend’s cheesy garage band made good. On this, their third album, they deliver some pretty standard punk rock fare – but the British accents, boy/girl vocals, rock revival flourishes and raw enthusiasm add up to a whole lot of fun.

After moving on from their early foray into Nirvana and punk covers, the band was discovered in 2003 after winning a spot at Glastonbury Festival. The Subways have gone on to rule the roost at the Reading and Leeds Festivals and are renowned for their live shows due to a winning combination of high energy performances and songs that you can instantly sing along to. The band’s run of luck continued when they sent the demos for Money and Celebrity to producer Stephen Street (Blur, Kaiser Chiefs, The Smiths) and he agreed to record and produce the album.

First single It’s A Party opens with a fun riff reminiscent of Hey Mickey and uses live action party sounds to make you wish you were there. The next track is the most cheerful response to the recession possible. “We don’t need money to have a good time” chirp Billy Lunn (guitar) and Charlotte Cooper (bass), and you believe them (the song also includes the repeated phrase “come on, come on, come on”, which is always a recipe for a good time). Celebrity, Rumour and Pop Death reference the darker sides of fame, and despite all the upbeat “whoah-oh-ohs”, Money is a warning about greed in the business world. There is also a fair smattering of love songs on the album, traversing the gamut of the emotion from a crush (on the sweet I Wanna Dance With You) to the agony of wanting someone more than they want you (Like I Love You). The last third of the album peters out slightly, but if you’d been dancing along to the first eight tracks you’d probably need a cup of tea and a lie down by then anyway.

With liberal use of cowbell, harmonies, hand-claps, classic rock riffs and pop punk melodies, this band may not win any points for originality but there’s something very endearing about them.

Kathryn van Beek

Click here to listen to It’s A Party from Money and Celebrity