Initially ecstatic upon hearing that British punk legends the U.K. Subs were releasing new material, my excitement was quickly shot down once realizing it was only a covers album. Still, SubVersions does offer some surprisingly admirable covers, some that even make sense to be added within the band’s live catalogue.
A cover of the MC5’s “Kick out the Jams” starts off the album appropriately, while the Subs’ takes on tracks such as Bob Seger’s “Get Out of Denver” and Slaughter & the Dogs’ “Boston Babies” keep things afloat in the right direction. Perhaps the most surprising number goes to their rendition of “Tired of Waking Up Tired” (originally by obscure Canadian act The Diodes), which finds the band doing what they do best and truly making it their own.
But for every decent effort found here, it seems there’s an equal disappointment. Covers of David Bowie’s “Suffragette City,” the Queens of the Stone Ages’ “Feel Good Hit of the Summer,” and even Motorhead’s “Bomber” are questionable at best. Overall, SubVersions has its moments, but is a far cry from such memorable covers albums as Guns N’ Roses’ The Spaghetti Incident? (which some of you may recall actually featured a cover of a U.K. Subs track, “Down on the Farm”). Nothing life-changing here, but also nothing harmful.