Peppery Punk For A New Dawn: A Listen to Speed Kills By Chubby And The Gang

A Chubby and the Gang candle is burning bright, eagerly daring you to get close to the flame. Freshly signed to Partisan Records with top-of-the-class peers Idles and Fontaines D.C., they are pushing their open, innovative Hardcore Punk hard onto the masses and, through word of mouth, earning heaps of respect as they go. It is fun, it is furious, but their underlying message hits where it hurts. 

Our crew has managed to recapture that London centric Pub Rock soul and have reissued their debut LP Speed Kills digitally; the remastered vinyl is delivered on November 20th. Over a mere two days, and produced by Jonah Falco of Fucked Up, it follows the punk commandments of getting in, doing what needs to be done, in their case: 13 songs in 28 minutes, and leaving in a cloud of dust.

A Primal Scream moment prevails as the album opens with a sample from anti-rock n roller Jimmie Rodgers Snow: If you talk to the average teenager of today and you ask them what it is about rock ‘n roll music that they like, and the first thing that they’ll say, is the beat, the beat, THE BEAT." And with that, we are off with Chubby and the Gang Rule OK? Its intentional off-kilter timing is ununiformed and alive.  

Speedy, ferocious drums lead the whole record, and there is a wilful retainment of accents as the airing of stories that the band need to tell unwind. All Along the Uxbridge Road, accompanied by its Looney Tunes animated video, is mighty canorous with a harmonica highlight and many voices in the pack, granting a glimpse into the Big Smoke and it's murkier side: "I like summertime in Stonebridge Park, but I wouldn't wanna hang round after dark." 

Some bluesy piano comes along in Union Dues as it confers beliefs of sticking together through thick and thin to protect one another: "And when we strike I always say, there can be no other way." Yes, it is punk at its most magnetic, but there are other ingredients found, like doo-wop, making it feel peppery and ready for a new dawn. For instance, the paring of a Hammond organ and rockabilly guitar in Trouble (You Were Always On My Mind) give it a touch of softness, while cards of the heart are laid on the table. 

Bringing it all home is the drumless Grenfell Forever: beautiful, simple heartfelt. The standard edition will be available on yellow vinyl and include a cartoon sticker sheet, and the limited-edition version includes a black-and-white colour-in sleeve with crayons. Each track similar yet versatile; this LP is utterly charming in its cutting way, and the pure passion and honesty of the piece gets the blood pumping, throbing and vibrating through the body. Come to the light, 'I have nothing left to say'.

Article by Beverley Knight