Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Album Review: Chubby and The Gang - Speed Kills

Chubby and The Gang
Speed Kills
**** out of *****

The first full length from the London punks Chubby and The Gang is a singalong ready blast of punk rock with it's boozy breathes taken from England's pub culture. Speed Kills puts the band on the musical map as they use righteous guitars distorted bass rumbles and fast as lighting drumming to propel the chaos forward.

The band are all experienced having played in other formations since the early 2010's, front man Charlie Manning-Walker played in Crown Court, Arms Race, and Violent Reaction while the core of the band, Ethan Stahl, Joe McMahon, and Luke Austin were in Gutter Knife. Yet it is this combo which has found the winning formula with arena ready flair, pop touches and a heavy as hell punk rock backbone.

The record opens with a speech from Jimmie Rodgers which equates rock and roll with evils of youth culture, and while dated, the band take this to heart as they explode into their theme song "Chubby and The Gang Rule OK?". "Pariah Radio" allows for singalongs while motoring at top speed, the title track feels as if three straight ahead punk songs where crammed into one.

The group has it's hardcore punk bonafides down pat, but Speed Kills rises above the pack by incorporating more than just yelling, screeching guitars and blitzkrieg low end. The group recalls the best of Cock Sparrer dropping in pub rock, hand claps and harmonica during the stand out "All Along The Uxbridge Road" and reach back to 50's girl group influence for fantastic ode to "Trouble"  on their two best tracks here. The groovy as all get out "Moscow" and updated Ramones bop of "Bruce Grove Bullies" are both also great as the quartet span the punk landscape and use their influences in modern ways.

From the tempo changes and stuttering in "The Rise and Fall of The Gang" to the defiant direct angst rocking of "Can't Tell Me Nothing" the band clicks on all cylinders throughout Speed Kills. The closer "Grenfell Forever" goes the ballad route as a tribute to the tragic London fire adding depth and hurt to a record that was already bubbling over with passionate rock and roll. Chubby and The Gang's first offering Speed Kills checks all the boxes of punk rock for fans of the genre.
Yet another amazing bandcamp find.  Support the artist, buy the album peep, stream it on bandcamp or below and peep some video:

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