Chubby and The Gang play pedal-to-the-metal speed punk and hail from London town. They add their own special twist to a sound influenced by Motorhead, Cockney Rejects and The Kids. Their debut LP, Speed Kills, in an adrenaline-fuelled thrill ride that might make you feel nostalgic for the days of the late ‘70s seeing a band in a London boozer and going nuts.
Vinyl LP £16.49 SSR073
LP on Static Shock.
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Chubby And The Gang’s ‘Speed Kills’ is on the chirpier end of the Static Shock Records spectrum. This is an LP of uproarious bovver-bangers in the Cockney Rejects mould, though there is a caustic edge to the way that the Gang thrash about which gives away their hardcore background. Indeed, I wonder if, given that the cover of their 2019 single ‘All Along The Uxbridge Road’ was emblazoned with the name and map of West London suburb Acton, Chubby And The Gang decided to form over a discussion of fondly-remembered Acton punks Dustin's Bar Mitzvah.
On the surface much of 'Speed Kills' seems low-stakes - songs often get their business done in two minutes or less, cramming plenty of shout-along hooks and pint-spilling riffage into those small spaces. That said, the band do also park the shits and giggles at points to deliver something more pointed. Sometimes the shift is subtle - the title-track sees those hardcore sensibilities dictating play, streamlining their sound to create a ripper that is one of the record's highlights.
Then there are the bolder changes of pace. ‘Trouble (You Were Always On My Mind)’ sits at the centre of the album, a swooning Hammond-punk ballad which has Elvis Costello and ‘London Calling’ and some of the ‘Rocket To Russia’-era Ramones croons in its DNA. ‘Speed Kills’ also ends with ‘Grenfell Forever’s down-at-the-docks Braggism that sees the record out on the refrain ‘doesn’t matter what you say, doesn’t matter what you do, I’m always coming back to you’. It’s a reminder that, for all the fun and naughtiness, punk is a music of solidarity, one that can offer companionship in a world that feels more atomised by the second.
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