The Subways, 'All or Nothing' (Warner Bros./Sire)

6
All or Nothing
Critical Mass
Label: Warner Bros./Sire

by Josh Modell

These youthful Brits shed some cuteness for their second album, perhaps because principals Billy Lunn and Charlotte Cooper are no longer snogging. Credit producer Butch Vig, too, who brings the trio closer to sonic Nirvana by coaxing out their snarls and then compressing and polishing them to maximum shininess. Lunn's voice occasionally overreaches into screamo shredding -- an American tour was canceled because of his throat nodules -- but he's better as a charming popster ("Move to Newlyn") or Pixies enthusiast ("I Won't Let You Down").

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