Brand New Age

by: U.K. Subs

For their second album, Brand New Age, the U.K. Subs built on the frenzied, melodic assault of their debut by developing their songwriting skills. Brand New Age contains tracks that are more ambitious than those on the debut, with more variety and lyrical depth. Rather than the amusing teen angst rants of the debut, this album shows the Subs embracing a more political point of view. "Warhead" is a seething diatribe on nuclear war, delivered with the venom and ferocity such a topic deserves. "Organised Crime" rants about government oppression, and "Brand New Age" delivers a less than optimistic slant on the forthcoming privacy intrusions of the 1980s. There's no shortage of droll humor, though, with the hilarious "Teenage" and "Emotional Blackmail," the closest the Subs have come to a song about relationships. Musically, the band have grown as well. "Warhead" has a more complex song structure than anything they did before, and "You Can't Take It Anymore" proves the band doesn't have to rely on simple velocity to get their point across. Far from falling prey to the sophomore slump, the U.K. Subs came of age on this album and proved they were one of the best, most promising acts of their era. ~ Victor W. Valdivia

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