Album Review: Chubby And The Gang – Speed Kills
By day Chubby Charles is an electrician who works on film sets. He does this to sustain his habit of going to see shows, watching bands as he enjoys an ice cold Guinness. Like all of us, his routine has been disrupted of late. So too has his other nocturnal pursuit of fronting one of the most ferocious rock’n’roll outfits on the planet right now.
A recent conversation with Chubby reveals that he has channelled his recent frustrations into a new album for his new label, Partisan (home to IDLES, Fontaines DC, Laura Marling et al). He’s made that record with a big name producer (our lips are sealed as to who at the moment), suggesting that his day job may soon be a thing of the past. While that album is being mixed, Partisan have taken the opportunity to reissue Speed Kills, the band’s infectious first album which was released earlier this year by the good people at Static Shock Records.
Since its release, Speed Kills has received universal praise thanks to its mix of terrace-styled hooligan tunes (opener Chubby And The Gang Rule OK? is a rapid fire, Oi!-inspired anthem), Ramones-styled rama-lama (Pariah Radio) and hammer-down Motörhead moments (the title-track being a fine example). For all the muscular bravado on offer, however, what lies at the heart of this album – perfectly produced by Fucked Up’s Jonah Falco — is a selection of genuinely catchy songs built around cast-iron melodies.
Equally, while Chubby is the veteran of a thousand hardcore bands, CATG are more than one trick ponies. As well as blasts of blues harp on previous single, All Along The Uxbridge Road, Speed Kills also includes moments of reflection — notably on the ‘50s-influenced croon of Trouble (Always On My Mind) and the heart-wrenching Grenfell Forever, both of which showcase the Gang’s more expansive character.
For those that bought the album the first time around, there’s the enticement of a new track, Union Dues, welded on as the closer. ‘Knock! Knock! Who’s there? Chubby and the fucking gang!’ snarls Charles, before slamming into another slice of pure street-smart boogie. It brings to a close an album that has established Chubby And His Gang as a force to be reckoned with. For them, the future remains genuinely unwritten.
For fans of: Motörhead, Cockney Rejects, Fucked Up
Speed Kills is out now via Partisan
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