Originally Posted by Billy Lunn, lead singer of the Subways
I loved getting depressed to Nirvana. Those were the best days of my life.
So, what happens when you spend the majority of your teens getting depressed listening to Nirvana? Chances are you are going to want to start a band to express your inner-angst, but due to lacking a social life, you’ll find it hard to find friends to start it with. So, you’ll go to the next best thing: your drummer brother. So, right now, you have yourself on guitar/vocals/songwriting duties and a drummer, you’re almost there, but it looks like you may have to go out in the real world to find a bassist. You try this out, but the world is just so harsh that you go and hide in the subways. (Hey, that’s the name of the band!) During one of your trips to your secret sanctuary, you meet a girl there. She’s cute and both of you hit it off pretty well. You tell her that you’re trying to start a band, and she gets excited and asks if she can join, even if she has no musical experience. You decide this will be another nice way to connect, to teach someone a musical instrument is one of the greatest gifts you can give them, so you do, and thus, begins the Subways. A “family band” of sorts comprised of brothers Billy Lunn (guitar/vocals/lead songwriter) and Josh Morgan (drums) along with Lunn’s fiancée Charlotte Copper (bass/backing vocals).
The album opens up with I Want To Hear What You Have Got To Say
. There couldn’t have been a better selection to kick the album off with, as it perfectly summarizes what the listener is in for. The song starts with Lunn playing an odd strumming pattern on an acoustic guitar. After the first verse, Morgan beats hard on the drums and the song turns into a pulse-pounding electric jam. The lyrics of the song aren’t exactly great, but layers are added to the song, when Cooper sings a verse to counter-point what Lunn’s male character is saying throughout the song. It’s a tool they only use one more time during the album with At 1AM
, though I would like to see them use it more.
Lunn’s lyrics are below average throughout the album. With some slower paced song, such as She Sun
it seems as though Lunn is trying his hardest to come up with something profound and poetic to say, however, he falls short. On occasion, it seems the complete opposite where he writes something that sounds effortless, yet it haunts you with the how true it is, such as in I Want To Hear What You Have Got To Say
where Cooper sings “If I’m so happy/I’ve got everything to lose”
However, sometimes, the lyrics are just flat out terrible and completely uninspired. An example of this is, unfortunately, the single, Rock & Roll Queen
“Your are the sun/You are the only one/My heart is blue/My heart is blue for you”
The entire song is that verse repeated over and over again, with the occasional chorus of
“Be my/Be my/Be my little rock and roll queen”
Not bad if you’re trying to market to teenage girls, but if you’re going for some street cred in the indie department, chances are you’re going to get passed up pretty easily. Another song with similar structure of only one verse throughout the song is the title track. However, this time, the lyrics have a bit of wit to them, to at least make the song slightly more listenable:
“Thank God for Dracula/He sucked the shit out of me/Now I can leave my work for nights/And leave my day for sleeping”
Though, after this song is the gem Lines of Light
. It works very effectively after Young for Eternity
because it’s like the hangover of partying after finding out he can live forever. A majority of people seem to think that living forever is great, but wouldn’t life get monotonous and depressing? That’s basically what the song is asking, showing some writing potential for the band.
But, that’s enough about the lyrics for now, because however bad the lyrics may be, the instrumental aspect of the album makes up for it. Each song either has a pulse-pounding, high octane riff (these songs tend to have the lyrics with less thought put into them) or is made up of a heart-breaking, slow-paced riffs. One of my favorite songs based on the instrumentals is Lines of Light
. The song features Lunn strumming slowly on an acoustic guitar. The riff is heartbreaking and when the song reaches the climax where Lunn seems to strum in a way that makes everything around you move in slow motion it’s one of the most powerful moments on the album.
Another instrumentally beautiful song is No Goodbyes
. It once again features Lunn on an acoustic guitar, but the bass and drums play along as well, and each does a superb job. Morgan sets a steady groove, and Cooper’s bass line has her walking all over the fret board for a couple fills here and there. It also features a solo of sorts, but nothing truly amazing, just a couple of chords thrown together.
is probably the strongest track all around. It starts off with Lunn once again on an acoustic, but soon enough, an electric guitar joins the mix. Cooper once again plays a walking bass line throughout the entire song, and Morgan has some nice fills here and there. The lyrics are the typical indie songs lyrics, singing about hanging out at his friend Mary’s house, and basically doing nothing. Despite the bland topic of the lyrics, the band finds a way to interest you, which is why it’s such a strong track.
The album (technically, due to At 1AM
being considered an “Encore”) closes out with two of the oddest songs I’ve ever heard. The first is She Sun
. It, once again, features Lunn on an acoustic guitar, while he and Cooper sing some obscure lyrics. Every once in a while, an accompanying guitar will play some arpeggios, and a keyboard will join doing the same thing. The song is just so odd that it makes it very mysterious and worth many more listens to try and interpret it. But there isn’t much time left to mull it over before Somewhere
busts in with a powerful drum beat and a very dark guitar riff. The bridge is one of the most angst-filled moments of the album as it repeats the same palm-muted chords over and over again until a light acoustic guitar starts playing a mysterious riff. Then finally Lunn and Morgan can be heard as Lunn sings “Somewhere”
over and over again and Morgan can be heard muttering some “Na na na”s until finally someone yells “CHYEAH CHYEAH” and the band goes back to the original riff yelling “Na Na Na” until the end of the song.
I find it to be a perfect song to end an album, and I sometimes like to play it while I go to sleep because it’s such an emotionally draining song, I often find myself tired after a listen. However, once the song is over, a new fast-paced song called At 1AM
comes in and undoes all the emotions I felt while listening to Somewhere
. The song is very good in its own respect, but it would have been better fitted somewhere else in the track listing.
So, this concludes the interesting experience that is the Subways debut album Young for Eternity
. It varies from manufactured pop songs (i.e. Rock &Roll Queen
) to the emotional indie epic (i.e. Somewhere
and Lines of Light
) with many stops in between. Despite the lyrics lacking at time, there are some indications of potential for later releases. The album is worth a listen to any indie fan. 3.5/5
-Mystifying guitar riffs
-Each band member is very talented musician
-Use of back and forth male/female vocals
-Rock & Roll Queen
was the worst possible choice for a single
kills the vibe after Somewhere
-I Want To Hear What You Have Got To Say
-Lines of Light