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Subways On The Sun - 'Capsize' Album Review


1. Just To Be With You

2. Works

3. Hope You Like Getting Old

4. Capsize

5. Tongues

6. I'm An Island

7. Side You Play

8. Know It All

9. Time's Not Long

10. On Repeat

Seattle’s Subways On The Sun have released their second album “Capsize”, the follow up to their debut “The Honeymoon Stagecoach”. The album was recorded during a period where all the members of the band had children which, to be frank, would make recording any follow up a tad tricky.

Subways On The Sun’s solution was to create a kind of melting pot where nothing was over analysed or off the table, with the members only able to veto their own suggestions whilst also recruiting long time friend Jesse Sprinkle to record the drums remotely, freeing up Lars Katz to concentrate on guitars and other programming parts. This novel approach could have resulted in a train wreck of an album, but the fact that it has led to such a glorious sounding album is testament to the quality of the band. This is a great Pop record. I know many people who look down on Pop and dismiss it but the truth is there are few finer things in life than good quality Pop. Throwaway Pop I would agree with you, but well crafted Pop which also has meaning is simply a thing of joy – and this is one of those things.

From opening track “Just To Be With You” through to the closing “On Repeat” this has a wonderfully Pop-With-An-Edge feeling to it. It’s kind of hard to explain, but if I tell you that front man Erick Newbill sounds like a cross between Brian Molko and Ian Broudie, then hopefully you get the picture. Throughout the album there’s the darkness and edge of a band like Placebo or Muse but it is tempered (or enhanced, depending on the state of your liver) by the kind of genuine understanding of what makes great music that very few possess. The only exception to this general ‘Grit Pop’ (see what I did there??) is track 5 “Tongues” which takes a beautifully hypnotic dirty, buzzy bassline from Nick Barber, couples it with jangly riffs and then pours over the distorted lyrics ‘Tonight; our tongues are tied” over and over…it’s simple but sounds fabulous.

If you’re looking for a world or genre changing album, then this is not the one for you but, if you like your Pop with a grittier edge that you can sing along to then you could do a lot worse than checking this album out.

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Review - Chris Watson

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