U.K. Subs singer Charlie Harper assembled a band of talented musicians to play the most enduring classics that he had recorded with the band's classic lineup (long gone were original guitarist Nicky Garratt and bassist Alvin Gibbs) and put on a concert to celebrate the Subs' tenth anniversary, which was recorded for In Action. The results are predictable: The band sounds precise, energetic, and lively, but there is a certain spark missing. As brutal as the versions of such songs as "New York State Police" and "Teenage" are, they simply don't measure up to the original recordings, making this album somewhat pointless. It does serve as a nice sampler of the Subs' most notable songs from their first eight albums, which would indicate it's a decent introduction for newcomers. Still, it would seem to be a wiser idea for those newcomers to start with the Singles 1978-1982 anthology. It would be even better to track down the first four Subs albums to hear the original lineup bash out far more bloodthirsty versions of most of these tracks. In Action is not a bad record, but fans can probably do better.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Victor W. Valdivia