The Subways - 'I Won't Let You Down'
I like this lot. I can't help it. They're always nice in interviews, they make a right noisy racket which, while never being the very first thing that I want to hear at any point, is always welcome on the ears and always reminds me how much I like them. They are one of those bands who you are happy to see still blamming out the grimy rock thrills (even though I probably preferred Charlotte's old hair, it flew about better in gig pics), but not one of those bands whose records you pine for.
This is a perfect example. It's got that 'Rock 'n' Roll Queen' classic garage thrash super-riffing backbone, only with that modern drum thing where the beat gets inverted from time to time, for added gruntiness. Add a terrace chant chorus and a moody, U2-ish breakdown section and you've got something which effectively aims itself at ANYONE with an ear for rough-but-smooth rock fun.
Billy Lunn's voicebox has clearly recovered from that nasty-sounding surgery too. He always did sing like his tonsils were flapping out, borne on the gusty wind from his bellowing mouth, and the extraction of nodules from this gargling wobbliness has not altered his vocal essence in any way.
Their secret weapon, in a lot of ways, is Charlotte. Apart from the obvious novelty of a hot girl bass player who can actually really play and stuff (I'm using the word novelty quite wrongly here, it's 2008), she pops up on harmony vocals from time to time, and stone me if she doesn't sound a LOT like Kim Deal out of the Pixies (or the Breeders, or the Amps), especially in that chorus.
Y'see, people who sound a lot like Kim Deal out of the Pixies are ALWAYS welcome in this day and age. Especially when they are OMG SO HOT etc etc.
I'm right about the hair though.