‘Work In Progress’

Whilst they might not be clocking up the 25th Anniversary editions these three more recent Subs platters are still almost a decade old and went out of print on vinyl as soon as they were released such was the collectability of Subs albums amidst the return of vinyl buying people, In fact, it’s been eleven years since ‘Work In Progress’ was issued amidst richly deserved critical acclaim (I know I was very complimentary at the time of its quality).

This new double vinyl edition comes with one gold-coloured disc and one silver coloured disc in a very nice repro of the original artwork but in a gatefold sleeve again pressed on 10″. It’s still got the fourteen Tracks. Kicking off a new era of Subs where Jet was on six strings and the rhythm section of Alvin and Jamie really hit their stride with some of the band’s finest songs coming into existence like opener ‘Creation’ which really set the tone.

I remember interviewing Charlie around the time and his enthusiasm for the album was infectious and on hearing the songs it’s easy to see why he’d be proud of this record. ‘Tokyo Rose’ was something a bit different from the band and the Alvin Gibbs sung tracks are some of his finest writings even to this point today ‘Hell Is Other People’ is such a banger of a tune. Their cover of The Sonics ‘Strychnine’ was also a glimpse of what was to come with their covers album (post-a-z). It was a real call to arms and this reissue of sorts is a most welcome addition to any Subs collection.

Buy ‘Work In Progress Here


As the band headed towards the end of their epic 40-plus year project who ever thought they’d even make it to X let alone surpass the lot and head into new territory. ‘xxiv’ was a stunning follow-up to ‘Work In Progress’ and showed that the band were really locking into gear as a unit with all the incredible shows they were putting in around the time covering every inch they possibly could of this planet ‘XXiv’ is a limited edition double 10” that comes in a gatefold sleeve on green vinyl (disc one) and clear vinyl (disc two). It finds itself expanded to 15-tracks over two LPs with the addition of the previously unreleased album out-take ‘Workers Beer Company’.

Originally coming out in 2013 again, it sold out on its initial release on vinyl so this will please many fans and with the bonus of the extra track it isn’t just a cash cow or pension plan. (maybe they missed a trick, not including the bonus acoustic songs or reworkings on the original double CD that came out at the time now that would have been something special) this one took what the band did on the previous release and took it up a notch or two with the barnstorming opener ‘Implosion 77’ and then led us into the harmonica honking stomper that is ‘Coalition Government Blues’. I must admit I’d not played this album in a while and have played it over several times for review purposes I have a newly found affection for it. Maybe, with the passing of time I’d rate this one right up there with the best UK Subs album through any line ups and any album. ‘Speed is punk as fuck only to be outdone by ‘Rabid’ absolute blitzing it! The thrust of ‘Monkeys’ and its backing vocals giving it a softer edge is excellent. Again the Gibbs sung songs are top quality and there is no weak spot on any side of these new 10″ records and worth every penny.

Buy XXIV Here

‘Yellow Leader’

Tying up the trio of 10″ records is the penultimate A-Z ‘Yellow Leader’. This one originally came out in 2015 and the album track listing has been restored to its full running order of 18 tracks as previous vinyl editions had to cut four tracks due to running times. So again, it’s not just a reissue cashing in as anyone who picks up a copy will realise that the heavyweight records in their gatefold sleeves and pressed on colored vinyl are well worth having a lot of care and attention to detail has been put into these and it shows. ‘Sick Velveteen’ follows a long line of super-strong opening tracks on albums and it showed that there was no sign of fatigue in the Subs camp nor writer’s block. The songs were coming thick and fast and if anything better and better.

The variety on the eighteen-track album is fantastic from the punk bangers to the reflective acoustic ‘Rebellion Song’ to the riffy ‘Slave’ and the Stooges-inspired ‘Suicidal Girl’ ‘Yellow Leader’ is the third in this trilogy release and one that to my shame I’ve not played in a while but that has been rectified and one I will play more often.

The artwork reproduction is most welcome as is everything about the feel of these reissues. Lyrics, Bonus tracks, coloured vinyl – Man, I love the UK Subs, and with a new album imminent this is a great time for us fans. Sadly, I’m informed there are no plans to reissue ‘Ziezo’ but maybe that will change when these sell out. Trust me when I say these 10″ double albums are the dog’s bollocks and well worth getting your hands on.

Buy Yellow Leader Here

Author: Dom Daley