The Subways

The Subways, a postpubescent power-punk trio from the UK, have launched their career with the type of hype usually reserved for whoever happens to be dubbed this year's next big deal. Critical darlings at home, they hit pay dirt when they were signed by Sire and bequeathed producer Ian Broudie (Lightning Seeds, Zutons, the Coral) to oversee their initial outing. But although their boosters view them as formidable contenders in the Oasis sphere, it's difficult to see why their brash, no-frills approach should merit any special mention. "Holiday," "Young for Eternity," "Somewhere," and the much-hyped single "Rock & Roll Queen" are, at best, guilty pleasures, raucous rockers that are equal parts AC/DC, Sex Pistols, Pixies, and Nirvana. Unfortunately, though, the Subways don't offer any indication they can replicate the special spark that brought those bands well-deserved immortality. Theirs is a well-trod sound that's basic at best, with lyrics so sophomoric they make Britney Spears seem like a Rhodes scholar ("You are the sun/You are the only one/My heart is blue/My heart is blue for you"). Adolescent angst will get them only so far; to achieve anything other than disposable status, the Subways need to find a better tack.

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Lee Zimmerman