Rob Jones

The UK Subs have trod the punk rock tightrope since 1976 and the band still maintains a dignity within their devilry. Many moons ago this renowned act also played a couple of dates at the long lost Tonypandy Naval Club-and, those nuclear nights will never be forgotten. Their 25th long player Yellow Leader offers rebel rock with a wealth of wizardry. The vehement vaults of the UK Subs have an abundance of gold in their gusto, and Yellow Leader also has Midas in its momentum.

There is no sign of a Diminished Responsibility on the latest Subs work and the recent rebel rhythms could stand alongside the hot hits and associated anthems that had a major impact during the halcyon era of 1979 to 1981.

There is plenty of energy and expertise in the 18 new tracks. Band leader Charlie Harper is 71 and despite heart attacks and relentless touring he still has a passion and power that would burn out young pretender’s a third of his age! From the opening, overriding aural assault of Sick Velveteen the Subs also showcase the various talents of Jet (guitar), Alvin Gibbs (bass) and Jamie Oliver (drums). It is onwards and upwards as the pace is mostly potent but that comes with infectious upbeat hooks and Harper heading the assault.

However, there are changes in the tempo with Bordeaux Red shifting its garage gears; and, the likes of Rebellion Song, Feed the Whore, Big Bug, Archaeology and 611 also display variety in their approaches. To add to which the lyrical commentary covers concerns that meander between personal, social and world affairs-so, there is still a contemporary rallying call in the Subs mantra!

Hard core disciples of Charlie and his chums will not be disappointed by the incendiary trails of Chemical, Deconstruct, Heathens, Prime Evil, Slave, Suicidal Girl, Virus and Cry Wolf-but there is far more to the tail than TNT tunes . Harper defies all of those harsh age related stereotypes with a riotous relish that has him fulfil his prophecy of ‘born a rocker, die a rocker’. This UK Subs line up has been together for several years and their unity is evident in a polished punk product! The fans eagerly await the completion of an alphabet of albums as long player number 26 is next!