Chubby & The Gang - Speed Kills
Chubby and the Gang emerged from a promising wave of early-’10s British hardcore; Charles himself did time with Crown Court, Arms Race, and Violent Reaction, and the gang’s other members—Ethan Stahl, Joe McMahon, and Luke Austin—have all played in Brighton’s Gutter Knife, among other bands. The record was produced by Fucked Up’s Jonah Falco, and while it may be difficult to directly pinpoint his influence, he seems to understand their music on an intuitive level.
The album projects a firm sense of place, and it’s not just because Charles’ accent is prevalent whether he’s talking, singing, or shouting. This is an English band, with English influences singing about English places—specifically, London. And Chubby’s London is proudly debaucherous, evidenced by the record’s artwork, an R. Crumb-does-Steamboat Willie masterpiece by the artist Spoiler. Speed Kills leads a pub crawl through the seedy side of the English capital, traversing main thoroughfares (“All Along the Uxbridge Road”), avoiding Tottenham tough guys (“Bruce Grove Bullies”), and lamenting the tragic horror of government malfeasance (“Grenfell Forever”).