U.K. Subs


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It was about time for singer Charlie Harper and Nicky Garratt to work together again. Harper has been using the Subs' name since his old axe-hero split in 1983 after four LPs -- the last of which, Endangered Species, is one of the finest punk LPs ever -- but could never come close to greatness again without him (it was Garratt's songs, after all). Every four to five years, the old pals reunite to make another real Subs record. "Betrayal" seems like a cross between the unprecedented, moody side two of Endangered Species and their more dirge-like punk-skank hits (such as "Countdown" and "Warhead"). If it's not as fantastic as either, it still is plenty good. On the B-side, where Terry Bones of Discharge and Broken Bones sits in, they finally go for broke, with their best track since 1983. "Nobody Move" is as hot as it is vintage, as currently relevant as any major alt-rock band. That old Garratt riffing style is so unique, and Harper sounds great again. In fact, this blows away every single modern punk band going today, minus a couple, and the only complaint with it is it's so damn short. If they have a whole LP of these sort of burners, put it out and state the Subs' case all over again. It would be a shame if they were only remembered for Guns N' Roses' cover of "Down on the Farm" (even though that made the Subs a pile of green they never got when they were pumping).