The Subwayssubwaying through America’s music metro

The Subways have already achieved popularity in England, and with their debut album, Young For Eternity, released Feb. 14, they hope to rise to the same level of fame in the U.S. With the 12 tracks on this album, it seems like The Subways just might achieve their goal. The overall sound of the album has been dubbed as reminiscent of The Vines and The White Stripes, and the vocals seem to have traces of The Walkmen. The band has also been influenced by The Beatles, The Ramones, The Pixies, The Sex Pistols, Nirvana, and AC/DC. However, the trio, made of Billy Lunn (guitar and vocals), Charlotte Cooper (bass and vocals), and Josh Morgan (drums), has established its own sound as a result of the group’s time together. The band formed when brothers Lunn and Morgan met Cooper, a fellow alternative-rock lover, when the three were in their early teens in England. After winning a competition for unsigned musicians in 2004, The Subways rocketed to stardom. While such sudden success may be exactly what every musician dreams of, it is a factor that has contributed to a short lapse into unoriginality in Young for Eternity. From the first track, “I Want to Hear What You Have Got to Say,” The Subways make it clear that Young for Eternity is an attempt to display the band’s full range of abilities. The album starts out with nothing more than a guitar in the background while Lunn sings solo. Suddenly, the music segues into the high-tempo, high-energy rock characteristic of the band. This transition is definitely believable and effective, and it gives the listener a surprise that delves into what The Subways are all about. For the most part, the entire album does a wonderful job of balancing slower and more reflective songs with faster garage-rock beats. However, “Holiday” gives the latter a bad name. Thankfully, this venture into a more manufactured, uninventive sound is isolated to this one track. The listener is rewarded for lasting through “Holiday” by being offered The Subways’ signature sound in the form of the first single, “Rock and Roll Queen.” This is the song the band performed on the hit TV show The O.C., and it was also included on Music from the O.C.: Volume 5. Both of these instances of exposure were prime opportunities for The Subways to get acquainted with the American music scene. Another notable fast-paced track is “Oh Yeah,” which could very well be a future hit single. In this song, the band capitalizes on Lunn’s distinctive voice and intertwines Cooper’s vocals into it, which, along with the instruments, fuse together to produce an attention-grabbing track that fulfills the promise of energized rock The Subways made to listeners with their first appearance on The O.C. The rest of the album is a combination of slower and more meaningful songs mixed in with faster songs more indicative of The Subways’ garage-rock sound. At first, it seems like this band should concentrate on high-tempo songs more likely to garner radio airplay. However, the band shines in startlingly slow but effective songs like “Lines of Light.” This track is a pleasant surprise that resounds with the aching truth and tragic beauty that only genuine life experiences can lend to a song. The twelfth and last track successfully presents what makes The Subways more than just another garage-rock band; “Somewhere” mixes the energetic rock The Subways have mastered with deeper tones and a more adult feel. The only time Young for Eternity falters as a debut album is the one instance in which the band resorts to unoriginal melodies and arrangements. With so many other bands in the same genre, The Subways must take care to distinguish themselves by consistently composing creative music. In the future, The Subways need to keep infusing their catchy beats with meaningful songs to create a sophomore album that showcases the full range of human emotions. If the band stays in the niche it has created for itself, it will be able to write the next chapter of its musical saga with the confidence that only making truly genuine music can bring. To mirror their overseas success here in the U.S., The Subways should stick to the innovative, energized rock interspersed with intermissions of quiet reflection that make Young for Eternity worth buying.