I first saw Subaqwa in 1994 at the Flapper & Firkin in Birmingham. The music was wild and melodic and creative. Their front-man Justin looked like Chris Evans on speed with his orange hair and black-rimmed glasses and he leapt around the stage like someone having an epileptic fit. Subaqwa stood out on the Birmingham music scene as being something special, a class above the rest.
I lost site of them about a year later and never heard from them again. Then I discovered this. I ordered a copy and it was really interesting. Gone was the rampant post-punk sound, replaced by a much calmer, American, almost country feel. It sounds like Subaqwa have been taken a lot of valium since I last saw them and have been listening to John Denver or something. They sound more like Talk Talk than the Subaqwa I remember and Justin's distinctive crazed ego seems to have taken much more of a background role.
This album's ok. I'm just surprised that the manic band that I remember from the Flapper and still rate as one of my favourite acts, eventually found a record deal in a much more mellow form that probably wouldn't have caught my eye all those years ago.
Interesting reading the thank you list on the album with the legendary Arthur Tapp and Paul Glave too. Hope you're both well and Subaqwa too if you're reading this.
Justin, if you dig out your shiny gold jacket and front another band I'd love to see you perform again.