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Subsource - Tales From The Doombox

Subsource, Tales From The Doombox

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2 out of 5

TO BEST appreciate where Subsource are coming from musically, it’s perhaps easiest just to relay the band’s own mission statement.

So here goes. This is the Subsource mission statement: “Four years ago, 20 miles south of central London, four people went into a studio to start a war. Fucked off with so-called live dance acts mincing behind laptops, and rock acts with no more substance than the product in their hair we decided things had to change.

“The snarl of Punk, the oscillating sub bass of dubstep, the harrowing melody of coldwave all had to be in there with as much of electronica’s glitches and edits, hip-hop’s flows, the galloping ferocity of drum’n’bass and metal as possible. No subgenre’s safe from the “treatment”.

“The vivisection becomes complete when firing up the live beast. Amalgamated from double bass, synths, drums, guitars, and vocals, like an amphetamised Rottweiler running riot through a free warehouse party, tearing holes in speaker cones, our live shows leave saucer eyed audiences writhing in sweat-drenched ecstasy.

“This is not a war of conflict but a war of unification. Ravers throw shapes, as Rockers bang heads, and Rude Bois throw their hands in the air. Subsource are a Beat and Bass driven Rock act representing the underground UK dance music scene. No treaty will be signed and the occupation will be total.”

Happy? If aggressive, confrontational music is your thing, then listen to Subsource. If super-charged punk and dubstep infused with rock in a Prodigy/Pendulum kind of fashion ticks your boxes, then listen to Subsource. If you barely want to catch your breath throughout the course of an album, and like to rant and rage at the establishment (in whatever form), then listen to Subsource.

If, however, you like a little more introspection, some form of measured approach to music-making, and think The Prodigy too heavy-hitting, then steer well clear. Avoid, too, if you are of an easygoing sensibility, or lean more towards the mainstream.

Tales From The Doombox is a work of astonishing ferocity, but very little quality. It’s evidence of an angry young band attempting to make a name for itself through volatility and anger.

Sometimes, as in their ‘mainstream’ moments, they approach coherence and appeal. Former single The Ides boasts a good chorus, a nice mix of rap and punk, and some decent warped electronics. It’s passable.

Likewise, New Bones and the strangely likeable, if equally shambolic, Beats And Bandages.

But in the main, this is rebellious for the sake of it… and pretty darn awful. Songs like Parasite aspire to acts such as Rage Against The Machine, while the urban sound afforded to some of their singing/chanting is more Dizzee Rascal meets Prodigy. Over the course of one long album, the result is mind-numblingly awful.

Download picks: The Ides

Track listing:

  1. Tales From The Doombox
  2. Street Soul Music
  3. Some People
  4. Disarm
  5. Charge Me
  6. The Ides
  7. New Bones
  8. Parasite
  9. Machines In Real Life
  10. Beats And Bandages