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BOX SET

UK SUBS
THE ALBUMS 1979 - 82

 

Cherry Red

A bit of historical perspective. When The UK Subs released their debut album, The Clash were rapidly moving on. Releasing their third album a couple of months later, London Calling, it was more Reggae, Rockabilly and Ska than Punk. The Damned had already split up, reformed with new members and were about to release Machine Gun Etiquette with Dave Vanian’s smoother, less aggressive vocals and the Sex Pistols had played their final gig at the Winter Ballroom in San Francisco a year and a half ago. Other than Sham 69, there were no Punk records in the UK Top one hundred best-selling singles of 1979. Punk seemed pretty much a thing of the past.

 

Enter the UK Subs. They had been around since the dawn of Punk but had somehow been overlooked by the labels until 1979 when they were picked up by GEM, the Punk arm of RCA. Once signed, they wasted no time and put out four studio albums of sheer class, a live album and an armful of singles in less than two years. It’s all here including their three-track debut single on City Records; five discs and a twenty-page booklet all housed in a clamshell box. This is a complete a set as you could possibly want of the early official UK Subs recordings.

 

You won’t find many long UK Subs songs even by Punk standards. Their debut album, Another Kind Of Blues contains seventeen songs and clocks in at less than thirty-three minutes whilst their second, Brand New Age, has a running time of less than thirty minutes with fourteen tracks. The music is a couple of notches above the average Punk band, always basic as expected but at times also inventive. Lyrically, the topics are politics and love/sex delivered with attitude and not necessarily musically as was the order of the day and while all of that may not sound particularly appealing written down, the fact is that these two albums and the other three in the set are magnificent. They are as essential to your Punk archive as the first few Black Sabbath albums are to a Heavy Metal fan’s collection.

 

A second wave of Punk emerged in the UK in the early 1980s. GBH, The Exploited, Discharge and their peers were harder, faster and deliberately more aggressive. It was fierce and popular but just as the first wave of Punk, short-lived commercially. The genre did influence future Metal acts though and in the words from Scott Ian of Anthrax, Discharge’s album “Hear Nothing See Nothing Say Nothing had a huge impact on Anthrax, Slayer and Exodus.” Like Metal, Punk has now splintered into uncountable sub-genres but the one indisputable fact is that the link between the first and second original movements of Punk are the UK Subs. They not only carried the flag, they passed the baton and they both deserve this box set and their place in music history.

 

Disc 1 – Another Kind Of Blues
C.I.D.
I Couldn’t Be You
I Live In A Car
Tomorrows Girls
Killer
World War
Rockers
I.O.D.
T.V. Blues
Blues
Lady Esquire
All I Want To Know
Crash Course
Young Criminals
B.1.C.
Disease
Stranglehold
Bonus Tracks

C.I.D. (Single Version)
Live In A Car (Single Version)
B.1.C (Single Version)
Stranglehold (Single Version)
World War (Single Version)
Rockers (Single Version)
Tomorrows Girls (Single Version)
Scum Of The Earth
Telephone Numbers

 

Disc 2 – Brand New Age
You Can’t Take It Anymore
Brand New Age
Public Servant
Warhead
Barbie’s Dead
Organised Crime
Rat Race
EmoMonal Blackmail
Kicks
Teenage
Dirty Girls
500 CC
Bomb Factory
EmoMonal Blackmail II
Bonus Tracks

She’s Not There
Kicks (Single Version)
VicMm
The Same Thing
Warhead (Single Version)
The Harper
I’m WaiMng For The Man
Teenage (Single Version)
LeZ For Dead
New York State Police

 

Disc 3 – Crash Course
C.I.D.
I Couldn’t Be You
I Live In A Car
Tomorrows Girls
Left For Dead
Kicks
Rat Race
New York State Police
Warhead
Public Servant
Telephone Numbers
Organised Crime
Rockers
Brand New Age
Dirty Girls
The Same Thing
Crash Course
Teenage
Killer
Emotional Blackmail
Bonus Tracks

I.O.D.
Lady Esquire
Blues
Young Criminals

 

Disc 4 – Diminished Responsibility
You Don’t Belong
So What
Confrontation
Fatal
Time And Matter
Violent City
Too Tired
Party In Paris
Gangster
Face The Machine
New Order
Just Another Jungle
Collision Cult
Bonus Tracks

Party In Paris (Single Version)
Fall Of The Empire
Keep On Running (Til You Burn)
Perfect Girl
Ice Age (Single Version)
Party In Paris (French Version)
Charlie Harper Bonus Tracks
Barmy London Army
Talk Is Cheap
Freaked
Jo

 

Disc 5 - Endangered Species
Endangered Species
Living Dead
Countdown
Ambition
Lie Down And Die
Fear Of Girls
Down On The Farm
Sensitive Boys
÷ 8 x 5
Ice Age
I Robot
Flesh Wound
Bonus Tracks

Plan Of Action
I Don’t Need Your Love (Charlie vocal)

Whom Gods Destroy Insanium_edited.jpg

WHOM GODS DESTROY
INSANIUM

 

ALBUM

Sony Music International

It’s an often-asked question: Has Progressive Rock progressed? The answers are as varied as the Prog Rockers that you ask and the same question could be - should be – asked of Progressive Metal. The genre has been around for three decades now so it’s time to move forward but in which direction?

One direction would be this album, the debut by Whom Gods Destroy. They are the phoenix born from the ashes of the supergroup, Sons Of Apollo, which despite being immensely popular, were unable to continue when the pandemic hit and went their separate ways. However, the virtuoso combination of Derek Sherinian and Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal was far from running its course and hence the recruitment of three new members and a name change. Sons Of Apollo Mk II? No, it’s not.

 

Insanium is heavier than anything that Sons Of Apollo recorded so to answer a previous question, yes, on this album, Progressive Metal has progressed. The opening track, musically, is a declaration of what is to come with a gentle piano riff that changes to a thick synth as a crunching guitar and thundering drums come in together. From the first minute, it is evident that Derek and Ron are not taking any prisoners - it’s brutal. The new boys are drummer Bruno Valverde (Angra), Yas Nomura on bass (The Resonance Project) and vocalist Dino Jelusić (Trans-Siberian Orchestra). They all make significant contributions to the pieces and on the one track we get a break from the heaviness, the power ballad, Find My Way Back, it’s obvious why Dino was also on the last Whitesnake tour as the combination of Derek’s Hammond and Dino’s vocal is about as Whitesnake as you can get without having Coverdale in the band; that’s not a criticism, just an observation. There is also an instrumental titled Hypernova 158, which is akin to Pink Floyd’s On The Run from Dark Side Of The Moon but much faster and more complex. The title track is also the final track and the most Prog of all the songs, being in three parts with lots of textures and it’s here that the five individuals really come together as a whole.  

 

The Japanese edition has the 16-page international colour booklet as well as a 12-page b/w one with liner notes and translated lyrics but the real reason you should by the Japanese edition is the bonus track, Requiem. It’s not just a throwaway track tacked on the end, it’s actually an excellent coda to the album. I shall say no more.

 

Whether this is the start of a new band that will have a long life or a project that goes no further no one can predict but this IS certainly a debut album that is taking Progressive Metal in a different direction and kudos to all five members for taking that step.

 

Track list

In The Name Of War

Over Again

The Decision

Crawl

Find My Way Back

Crucifier

Keeper Of The Gate

Hypernova

Insanium

Requiem (Bonus track)

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