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U.K. Subs | Subversions II

The British legends resurface with another weird platter of punk-rock karaoke

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WHO ARE THEY? The latest lineup of the long-running British street-punk band fronted by the ageless, gravel-throated icon Charlie Harper, still going strong at age 75.

WHAT IS THIS? Their 28th album in four decades, second set of cover tunes in as many years, and a disc that definitely lives up to its title — for better or worse, depending on your musical preferences.

WHAT DOES IT SOUND LIKE? The oddest version of punk-rock karaoke you’ve ever heard — the set list spurns the guttersnipe fare you expect for classics by the likes of Led Zeppelin, The Who, The Rolling Stones, Tom Petty, Neil Young and Queen. Seriously.

WHAT WOULD BE A BETTER TITLE FOR THIS ALBUM? The U.K. Subs Ruin Your Favourite Songs.

HOW SHOULD I LISTEN TO IT? The only way you can — with your jaw hanging open in oh-no-they-didn’t disbelief.

WHAT 10 WORDS DESCRIBE IT? Scrappy, gritty, rebellious, choppy, audacious, inspired, fearless, surprising, celebratory, fiery.

WHAT ARE THE BEST SONGS? Let’s just say you haven’t lived until you’ve heard U.K. Subs cover The Immigrant Song, My Generation and Rockin’ in the Free World — and convert We Will Rock You into a driving punk anthem.

WHAT WILL MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY SAY? ‘After 40 years, shouldn’t they be able to play and sing better than that?’

HOW OFTEN WILL I LISTEN TO THIS? Whenever you want to freak the hell out of somebody who hasn’t already heard it.

IF THIS ALBUM WERE A HOLIDAY, WHAT HOLIDAY WOULD IT BE? Halloween — though the jury is still out on whether it’s more of a trick than a treat.

SHOULD I BUY, STREAM OR STEAL? Even Charlie Harper can’t expect anyone to pay for this.