Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Alright...The Story of The Subways...Show # 242

The trio known as The Subways formed in 2002 in Welwlyn, Garden City, in England. The group contains two brothers Billy Lunn (who uses his mothers maiden name) on guitar/vocals, Charlotte Cooper bass/vocals, and Josh Morgan drums (the actual brother of Billy). The group started out playing gigs in 2003 in Essex and went by a few different names before settling on The Subways. They were at one point known as Mustardseed, and Platypus. The brothers grew up listening to the likes of The Beatles, AC/DC, Ramones, and T-Rex. When Billy saw Oasis performing "Supersonic" on Top of the Pops, he began to take guitar more seriously. It was also around this time that he met Charlotte and they connected with similar musical tastes such as Nirvana, Mudhoney, and Sex Pistols. Charlotte learned to play bass and Josh learned the drums and the group was formed.

During their initial beginnings the band recorded many demos and EP's selling them at their gigs. They also played cover songs too such as Nirvana and various punk songs. Since the band did not have much money they bought their own recording equipment on which to record. Billy put up a website (thesubways.net) to put the songs online. The band won an unsigned band competition in 2004 and played at the Glastonbury Festival in front of 10,000 people. After this the band went on to play a few more big festivals in the UK and around the end of 2004, the band got signed to City Pavement & Infectious Records.

The band then began work on their first album Young For Eternity with producer Ian Broadie (Lightning Seeds). The bands first single "Oh Yeah" reached number 25 on the UK charts. The album was released in 2005 in the UK and in February of 2005 in the USA. The band made an appearance on the popular TV show the O.C. where they performed two songs "Rock & Roll Queen" and "Oh Yeah". They also had songs on the soundtrack for the show as well as on TV adverts for Kate Moss in the UK and even in the movies Live Free or Die Hard and Charlie Bartlett.

The album Young For Eternity itself was a mix of loud punk and pop inspired rockers mixing styles of Nirvana and Brit pop such as Oasis and Supergrass. It opens with the song "I Want To Hear What You Have Got Say", an acoustic and distorted rocker. "Holiday" is a roaring punk fuelled song that treads during the chorus as the drums and bass jump up and down. "Rock & Roll Queen" echoes elements of Nirvana, slow verses and loud chorus's. Other loud rockers include "Young For Eternity", the pop punky "Oh Yeah", and the loud and catchy "With You". The slower songs which are very poppy and British include the sun drenched-sounding "Mary", "Lines of Light", the mellow "No Goodbyes", the dreary "She Sun", The album ends with the song "Somewhere", which is a mix of floating verses and heavy roaring choruses. The album continues at the 9:23 mark with the hidden track "At 1 AM".

Young For Eternity (2005) & All Or Nothing (2008)

The band toured in 2006, but had to postpone some gigs because Billy had nodules in his vocal cords. He made a full recovery and the band returned playing a secret gig in their hometown under the alias The Audrey Hepburns. When the band hit America in the summer of 2006 they appeared on the talks shows Late Show with David Letterman, and Late Night With Conan O'Brien. After playing Lollapalooza they also appeared on The Late Late Show With Craig Fergusson. The band opened for Angels & Airwaves as well as Taking Back Sunday while on their US tour.

In June of 2007 the band began work on their second album with Butch Vig (Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins) producing. The band went in with twenty five tracks worth of material and recorded the album in two instalments at Conway Studio in Los Angeles. After leaving to perform in the UK the band returned again to LA to finish up the new album. The bands second album is titled All or Nothing and was released in June of 2008. Many of the songs to appear on All or Nothing were actually performed at live shows before the band even started to work on the album. The songs reflect a new sound in the bands career, being at times more melodic and heavier sounding than Young For Eternity. The songs also reflect the break up of Billy Lunn and Charlotte Cooper who were seeing each other since 2003.

All or Nothing opens with the arpegiated and chunky rocker "Girls & Boys". "Kalifornia" is a dirty grungy rock song with a chorus that transcends into Brit Pop style, "Alright" was the first single from the album. It has more melody than any other previous Subways track. The heavy tracks include "Shake! Shake!", "I Won't Let You Down", "Turnaround", and the lyrically dark "Obsession". The album also contains more acoustic/mellow themed tracks such as "Strawberry Blonde", "Lostboy", and "All or Nothing" (which is pop punk track that sounds similar to Green Day at times). Overall All or Nothing shows The Subways maturing without losing their rock edge from their debut; It also features more dual vocals from Billy and Charlotte and even one track sung by drummer Josh Morgan ("All or Nothing"). The album went to # 17 on the UK album charts.

It's time once again for CJAM's annual Jammy awards. Once a year voting takes place so that the people that listen to CJAM can vote for their favourite shows. Voting does not take very long and it gives you a chance to have a say in what your favourite CJAM shows are. This year my show (Revolution Rock) is nominated in the Indie/Alternative/Rock Category. Show your support by voting for your favourite CJAM shows. You can vote by clicking this link.

Play List:

1. The Kinks - The Contendors
2. Booker T. - Potato Hole
3. The Sinners - In With The New
4. Spiral Scratch - Streetfighter
5. The Hippies - How You Gonna Live
6. The Regulators - What's in the City
7. The Perks - Escape
8. Blur - We've Got A File On You
9. His Mischief - Veins
10. Plunt - Boner
11. The Strange Boys - Woe is You and Me
12. Anagram - Leads To Nowhere
13. Drive Like Jehu - Luau
14. Pluto - Thirsty
15. The Subways - Holiday
16. The Subways - Oh Yeah
17. Mudhoney - Judgment, Rage, Retribution & Thyme
18. Nirvana - Very Ape
19. Japandroids - Wet Hair
20. Dirty Pretty Things - Chinese Dogs (Demo)
21. The Howlies - Sweet Denise Vs Road Rage Rhonda
22. Hater - Zombie Hand
23. Soundgarden - Ty Cobb
24. The Saints - Lipstick On Your Collar

To download this week's show visit the CJAM archives and select the files 10:00 AM and 11:00 AM on March, 31st 2009.

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