London gutter punks Chubby and the Gang have announced the release of their upcoming sophomore album The Mutt’s Nuts.
The album will be a follow up to their gleeful and winkingly self-referential debut, Speed Kills. While that album was populated with irreverent hardcore tracks ‘Chubby and the Gang Rule OK?’ and ‘The Rise and Fall of The Gang’, the previews that we’ve gotten so far seem to indicate that Chubby and the Gang are looking to evolve past their humble and goofy beginnings.
‘Lightning Don’t Strike Twice’, the album’s first single, was a countrified psychobilly take on pub punk and was the first indication that the Gang were interested in new sounds and styles. Then there was the band’s most recent single, ‘Life’s Lemons’, a genuinely affecting prom slow dance number featured, among other new facets, real melodic singing, harmonies, church organ, and non-distorted guitar tones. Taken together, the two tracks signal a direction far-flung from the roots of straightforward punk that the band had seemingly perfected on Speed Kills.
If you were worried that Chubby and the Gang were losing their edge, however, the new single ‘Coming Up Tough’ is here to set you straight. More microphone-swinging hard rock than freewheeling punk, the song is propelled by a driving floor tom-heavy drum beat and a less frantic, if still charmingly ragged, vocal performance from singer Charlie Manning Walker, who seems to have missed being able to break out that gravely bellow he’s so good at.
“‘Coming Up Tough’ is about a family member of mine who ended up going to prison at a very young age for over 20 years,” Walker explains about the song’s origins. “He went in as a kid and spent most of his life in the system. Where’s the justice in that?”
It’s another winner from a band with serious momentum. Chubby and the Gang probably aren’t going to be busting down the doors of Radio 1 or storming any super hit Spotify playlists any time soon, but they do happen to be one of the coolest, most versatile, and most interesting young bands around at the moment.
Check out the audio for ‘Coming Up Tough’ down below. The Mutt’s Nuts will be unleashed on the world on August 27.