British rock trio the Subways wowed the crowd at the Paradise Wednesday night with a brash, heartfelt set. ''They're not bad, and I hate everything," remarked one club employee who had labored through his share of less than stellar performances. The band's fans, who filled about half the club, were a bit more enthusiastic.
It's hard to imagine a more likable or spirited outfit than lanky 21-year-old singer-guitarist Billy Lunn, 19-year-old bassist (and Lunn's fiancee) Charlotte Cooper, and drummer Josh Morgan, who is Lunn's younger brother. Cooper was in constant motion, shaking her hair and dashing across the stage as she wielded an instrument nearly as large as she is. Tearing through most of their debut album, ''Young for Eternity," which dropped in the United States last month, their 45-minute set was an exuberant blast of grungy rock 'n' roll.
From set opener ''With You," an epic love song built on jaunty guitar riffs and the interplay between Lunn's earnest vocals and Cooper's tough harmonies, through the album's snarling, heavy-metal-flavored title track, the Subways created an emotion-packed sound. ''She Sun" started as a fierce ballad, before exploding into a stomping rocker. A subtle but winning frontman, Lunn playfully stopped during big-riffed rocker ''Holiday" to stretch before powering to the song's close. They ended the night with alt-rock radio favorite, ''Rock & Roll Queen," with Lunn climbing onto the club's balcony to further incite the cheering crowd.