Album Review: UK Subs – “Subversions II”
Not content with last year’s rather fun covers album Subversions, it appears that Charlie Harper and co have decided to do a follow-up and so here we have the imaginatively titled Subversions II.
Much like its predecessor, this album is the sound of four punk veterans getting together to bang out some songs that inspired them and it’s therefore probably more of a curio album for Subs completists than essential listening. But again, similar to its predecessor, it’s got an enjoyable raw energy to it that at least makes it a fun listen. Hearing the Subs go on a demolition joyride through Led Zep’s Immigrant Song and imbue it with an added freneticism is definitely the highlight here, but energetic takes on old standards like the Stooges’ Search And Destroy, the Who’s My Generation and the Velvet Underground’s White Light White Heat are good fun as well (even though they’re kind of standard covers for a lot of punk bands).
The Subs also show that they can vary things up a bit too with more mid-paced takes on Tom Petty’s You Wreck Me, Joe Jackson’s One More Time, Neil Young’s Keep On Rockin’ In The Free World and Donovan’s Season of the Witch all being handled well. Their take on Queen’s We Will Rock You meanwhile is perhaps unsurprisingly closer to the amped-up version which kicks off Freddie and co’s Live Killers album than the one everyone’s familiar with.
By the time the Subs round things off with, appropriately enough, a run through the Stones’ The Last Time, you won’t have really heard anything you weren’t expecting but at least you’ll have been entertained. And sometimes that’s all that matters.
Although it doesn't really break any new ground (then again, were you really expecting a covers album to?), at least "Subversions II" is a fun and energetic effort that passes the time nicely. With the Subs now having completed their odyssey of doing an album for every letter of the alphabet it remains to be seen if any new original material is forthcoming from them in the near future but at least on this evidence they've still got an energy that'd put a lot of bands half their age to shame.