Cramming 28 tracks into a lean 59 minutes, Singles compiles every A- and B-side released by U.K. Subs during the height of their influence. While the strictly singles format omits some classic album tracks such as "Emotional Blackmail" and "Down on the Farm," what remains is an hour of punchy, melodic punk rock. In fact, the album reveals the Subs as a true missing link between hardcore English punk and '60s music. It's not just the covers of the Zombies' "She's Not There" and the Velvet Underground's "I'm Waiting for the Man." The instrumental "The Harper," with its bluesy guitar licks and harmonica, sounds like a revved-up Yardbirds song, and "Keep on Running" could have fit on the legendary Nuggets anthology. The Subs also have an element that distinguishes them from too many other punk acts: a sense of humor. "New York State Police" is a hilarious swipe at police brutality, while "Teenage" is a dead-on satire of young consumerism. Singles is not only a worthy anthology for fans, who will be pleased that many difficult-to-find tracks are compiled in one place, but will also be the perfect intro to newcomers to one of the best, most underrated bands in punk history.
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