Monday, June 30, 2014

The Subsets EP on Granado Records

The last time I thought about the scene in Ohio it was the early days of Psychedelic Horseshit, Mike Rep and Times New Viking, granted that was Columbus, but it really seemed like there was a collective sound coming from that part of the country, even if I can only name three bands right now. Granado Records are similarly documenting their own scene starting with The Subsets which are a creepy four piece combining punk energy and instrumentation with a dark garage sound.

A-Side's "Ape Facin'" opens with the heavy thud of a kick and lower end distortion with higher riffs packed in like hardcore sabbath, in frightening you complete with horror screams under huge echo. A little bit of the Cramps blues and a little slice of Deadbolt in that thudding drum track with the '70s metal riff plowing away. It's a Slug Guts, Bauhaus vocal chanting away that takes this right into some dark corner of punk. I can't say this is really an area that gets explored much, I mistakenly though there was some sort of synth sound here as well, and then I realize they've been using nothing but standard room mic'd punk to pull off this ominous sound. Screechy underwater guitars on "Make You (Do It Again)" requires layers which coming from anywhere in the country is completely bizarre. They bring back a demonic chorus in the background singing seances and the back and forth of heavy guitar with this tiny room echo on the vocals in minor off key that becomes a haunting rosemary's baby punk pushing things into new weird areas. Like the Demented maniacal spoken word from Jello Biafra but mostly a weird mix of tongue in cheek immense punk. A really bizarre solo breaks strings while they keep these power riffs going and the chorus of harpies are forcing you to press your face up against the mesh on those amps while it blows a hole through your head. Really unique and crazy, a mix of references, b-movies, horror and serious goth with a lower end punk. The lyrics also completely change these tracks, I have no idea where they stand in a really good way.

B-Side's "I Don't Wanna Be Here" - If I thought any of these track names were a clue as to where the songs are going or even show up in the lyric then as usual I'm wrong again. This one drops right into some serious riff with a lower end snarl vocal about bosses and stupid jobs with none of that serious dark stuff from their A-Side. Here they're after a Milk Music attention to distortion here, this one gets those distorted waves lined up in a wall of fuzz with big changes of chords shoveling this thing along. The vocals are more pissed off and this stops on a dime.
"Suffocation" takes drum stick clicks and alternates with snare hits with a lesser riff alongside Todd's vocal in his chant style essentially singing about the latest dance craze called 'The suffocation. 'You dance around / You dance around / You dance around" nothing like it sounds it should be. Huge drum hits in hall space going into this last chorus which is the last place you should have ended up on the last track of the B-Side. Something that should be a clever trackabout this wacky idea suddenly becomes deadly serious and I don't know how they do it consistently. The layers of guitars maybe? The cavern the drums are recorded in? The minimal steady bass line? None of it should add up to this weird surf nazi party in hell.

Get it from Granado Records and the band direct.

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