Music Reviews


A Lot to Forget


Ignoring the current garage rock trends and steering well clear of the next hype, Subsonics have been making music founded on Nuggets-era, minimalist 1960s rock for ten full years now. A Lot to Forget continues the band’s fascination with urbane revivalist rock, and may be their most consistent album yet: fifteen songs and thirty minutes of 1950s rockabilly filtered through 1960s garage rock and played with the overview of the 40 years.

Subsonic’s version of “the rock” consists of two girls and a guy playing two direct-to-amp guitars and one minimal drum-set. Their songs continually threaten to fall apart, but always fall back into rhythm right before a collapse seems unavoidable, building a tension and a presence that’s beautiful and brilliant. “Chase You Back Under My Skin” sounds like a Lou Reed-fronted Crickets, while elsewhere they’re Velvets-y for sure, but more garage and less art-school.

Subsonics’ complete failure to live up to the hipster definition of what garage rock is implies they won’t sell the number of albums that they could’ve, but it also guarantees they’ll never go out of style. They may be too purist about their art to ever capture the attention of newcomers riding the wave of the Strokes and the Stripes, but Subsonics should please anyone with a genuine, nerdy passion for the era.

Slovenly Records:

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