I’ve been a fan of local band Subset for a few years now. Although I saw them a few times before I truly appreciated their talent they’re now one of my favourite local bands. And with good reason, their music is up-tempo, grungy and their stage performance is great. The lads are genuinely nice people as well and great fun to hang around with, which for me is just as important, if not more-so than the music.
In mid may Subset will release their 3rd Extended Play CD, Drenched, and I’ve been lucky enough to get an early listen in order to write this review.
I was delighted when I first saw the track listing, it has many of my old favourites — many of which remind me of when I first discovered Subet, in fact, when I first started being interested in music and local gigs in general. I was particularly delighted to see my two favourite Subset songs were on the EP, “Silent Treatment” and “Countdown to Adoration”
The first track on the record, “Silent Treatment”, has one of the catchiest riffs I’ve ever heard — it seriously stays stuck in your head for days — and on top of that it also has some incredibly passionate, if somewhat incomprehensible, singing delivered by french vocalist Rom. It’s a great track all round and definitely my highlight of the record. You can check out a bootleg video of the band playing it here, fortunately the recording on the EP is much, much better.
The second track, “I Can’t Play Guitar”, is another great mixture of fuzzy get-up-and-dance guitar riffs and passionate singing, but I feel the singing in this record is much clearer, which is nice. The track was originally recorded before the release of the bands second EP, Mahogany, but has definitely been worked on and sounds all the better for it.
Bang smack in the middle of the record is “Powercut”, it would be fair to say that this is my least favourite song on the record, but I think that just shows the relative strength of the other songs on the CD, because it itself it too is a good song with a different, darker (excuse the pun ;)) tone to the other tracks.
“Drink Dance Burn” is Subsets punkiest record and another one that I’m happy is finally recorded and being put out for people to listen to. Its got a great bass line to it and it’s another record that makes you want to Drink and Dance, but perhaps not burn.
The final song, on the 5 track record, is “Countdown To Adoration” and I’d say the band have saved the best to last here. We’ve been asking Jay, Rom and Rob to record this song for a while and I’m really happy its finally going to be available for people to listen to whenever they want. It’s a tad slower and softer than the other songs and shows the range of music that Subset can produce is bigger than just fast, up-beat grungy stuff. The song is immortalized by the lyrics “I Kiss, I Kiss, I Kiss, I Kiss, I Kiss” in the middle, which we all used to shout at the band a few years ago.
Anyway, you can probably tell that I’m not a music reviewer by trade but what I can say is that Subset have produced a genuinely great quality EP with Drenched — it has a great selection of, in my opinion, their best songs with great, catchy, dance-along riffs and passionate gritty vocals and is actually quite well recorded, technically, too.
As I said at the beginning of the post, the band are a bunch of great guys and I’m sure they’d love your support so check out www.SubsetBand.com