Young For Eternity The Subways
CD Review by Scott "Dr. Music" Itter
/ 3/2006

Track listing
1. I Want To Hear What You Have Got To Say 2. Holiday 3. Rock & Roll Queen 4. Mary
5. Young For Eternity 6. Lines of Light 7. Oh Yeah 8. City Pavement 9. No Goodbyes
10. With You 11. She Sun 12. Somewhere 13. Encore at 1AM

Label: Sire/London/Rhino
Release Date: February 14, 2006

A disc comes crashing through the doors with screaming melodies that are begging for Dr. Music's immediate attention. As the good doctor snaps the tight plastic glove around his eager fingers, he inserts the disc for a quick listen. Is this a disc in need of help, or is this a disc that screams with a wealth of talent from the very first listen? Dr. Music has only one chance to hear each track and give his expert opinion. After that one listen, he will declare the status of the patient as "ALIVE" or "DEAD." Will this month's patient make it out of the operating room alive?


Let me just say that I know little about The Subways, other than they are an English trio that might be found donning canvas Converse All Stars. By knowing this alone, it is hard to not have expectations. I am expecting to hear a power pop record that draws influence from the early English punk scene. I'm thinking that this is another band that's getting heaped onto The Strokes/Killers bandwagon. Am I right on target with my suspicions, or will I be shocked by what I hear? I don't know about you, but I'm anxious to find out. So, sit back, allow me to push the "PLAY" button, and let's check it out.

1. I Want to Hear What You Have Got To Say
Starts with some quick and quiet strumming and a thick English accented voice. After about a minute of establishing rhythm, a big drum/bass sound kicks in. The encompassing, full sound comes across like more than just a three piece act. Nice. The song reverts back to just the guitar/vocal thing for a few seconds before the second verse is introduced, and this time it's a female voice. Sung with the same quick tempo that's vaguely reminiscent of the Queens of the Stone Age song "No One Knows," this male/female vocal variance works well. The song ends abruptly at 3:25, which is in my judgment a perfect time for a tune like this one. A good solid opening track. Simple, yet effective. RATING: 6

2. Holiday
A supercharged punk song with some grinding, pounding, and thrashing guitar chords. At 1:52, this is your typical nu-punk song, if you will. The catchy hook keeps this one alive. RATING: 5

3. Rock & Roll Queen
Another typical Pop/Punk song as far as the crunchy guitars and the sharp hook go; but this is a little closer to a standard rock song with a few screams here and there, and a running time of under three minutes. RATING: 6

4. Mary
Kind of a different look from the band on this one. Again, very simple, except this time the band trades the electric crunch for the acoustic strumming. A fast-paced jumping, bopping acoustic rhythm makes this more Clash than Sex Pistols. They still stay under three minutes too. RATING: 5

5. Young for Eternity
Rip it up! This one is a thrashing, hyperactive jaunt that blazes through your head for just over two minutes. Sex Pistols all the way. Cool track. RATING: 6

6. Lines of Light
Ooh, very different. This one leads towards the Coldplay side of the genre; slow, slightly atmospheric and artsy. Halfway through we get the ahh-ahh-ahh's and the loud, plodding guitars too. Thank God it was only 2:12. RATING: 2

7. Oh Yeah
Another thrasher that sounds like it was recorded in a garage. They mix the male and female vocal sounds fairly well here again. This is beyond simple, but might be something that could grow on you. Very, very typical though. RATING: 4

8. City Pavement
Again, loud and raucous. Not a bad song, but the repetitive nature of the record starts to wear thin at this point. Almost every song is following the same exact formula: stay under three minutes and be loud. Some pretty cool attitude shines through on this one, though. Not too bad. RATING: 5

9. No Goodbyes
Upbeat acoustic guitar sound, joined by some decent harmony vocals; a sound that reminds this listener of Oasis meets Fleetwood Mac, perhaps. A light, breezy feel here is a welcome change for the record. This is a pretty nice track that couldn't have come at a better time. RATING: 6

10. With You
This has a more patient and thought out rhythm to it. Still has the guitar chord grinding, but they take a backseat to the melody that takes the wheel and drives this song. It's a bit repetitive, but a decent song nonetheless. RATING: 6

11. She Sun
Wow, another acoustic ballad-type song . . . that goes nowhere. A pathetic dragging vocal track that just slays anything musical that might be anywhere near it. They don't get too much worse than this one. Why does this brutally boring song have to be one of the only ones over three minutes? This is pure agony. RATING: 1

12. Somewhere
Starts out with the grind, goes to slow and dull with that same agonizing vocal that terrorized me on the last track, but soon picks up with those loud crunchy guitars again. This sounds very similar to the Nirvana method of songwriting. Now, this is a track that takes up almost five minutes, and the last half is an overemotional foray into a drum bashing, "nah-nah-nah," "ohhhhh-ohhhhh" fest. RATING: 5

13. At 1 AM
Very cool riff to start the tune and drive the rhythm of the song. "I need her heart 'cause mine is broken" is a nifty little lyric here as well. This is one of the better tunes on the album. It's simple like the rest of the album, but it has some kind of spark (the riff) to keep it interesting and different. RATING: 7


Fans of The Strokes, The Killers, and possibly even the Radiohead/Coldplay crowd, just might draw some pleasure from this release. I'm not a big fan of the sound, but I do recognize and respect the talent and originality of bands like Radiohead and The Killers. What I heard on this one-time journey was all of the typical components of the genre, with a heavier dose of the punk roots running through it. Take The Killers, and sprinkle some Jet and Coldplay on it, and you'll have the dish that I was served today. I'm not always opposed to the bandwagon jumpers, but they have to be a tight outfit that stays honest and true to their sound. The Subways don't sound overly talented to me, and there are a few songs that sound unnatural and dishonest to the attitude of this band. I think this band should be more Jet than Coldplay, I think that's really who they are. More work with the offsetting male/female vocals would have been a pleasant addition as well. Just like we had in the early 90's with the "Seattle sound," we ended up saturating the field with anything close to average, as long as it sounded like Nirvana or Pearl Jam. In all of the bandwagon jumping we did get some great ones like Stone Temple Pilots, Alice In Chains, and Soundgarden out of it. I'm sure this fad in music taste will play out much the same way. We'll get some great, talented bands that will give us years of great music; and we'll also get the bands that will make up the frayed edges of the musical cloth. We still have bargain bins loaded with early 90's Nirvana knock-offs, but those should finally become a thing of the past. There are some new kids in town. So clear those bins and make room for The Subways, and the many more that are surely on the way.