Compiling the last sessions recorded by the classic U.K. Subs lineup of Charlie Harper, Nicky Garratt, and Alvin Gibbs, A.W.O.L. sounds less like a patchwork recording than it should. Despite the presence of no less than three drummers, the album holds together because the band works as a cohesive unit. The tracks veer from the all-out fury of "Police State" to the darker, murkier "Enemy Awaits," displaying more growth in the band's songwriting skills. "Keep On Running" even incorporates new wave-style keyboards -- an unthinkable move on previous albums. Unfortunately, after these sessions, the band's classic lineup broke up, and afterward the U.K. Subs became little more than a collection of sidemen assembled by frontman Harper. Only the album's brevity keeps it from being a definitive recording on par with the seminal early albums. Still, for a last shot of the classic Subs, this album is definitely worth tracking down.
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AllMusic Review by Victor W. Valdivia