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Subculture

The Subs

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Album Review

With song titles like "My Punk," "F**k That S**t," and "In Cold Blood," one would easily be forgiven for assuming the Subs are all about nth-generation trash garage rock — but the song title "Kiss My Trance" is more accurate about what's going on. If anything, it's the Prodigy's electronic arena-punk commercial heyday that's the role model for this Belgian act, along with a huge blast of industrial dance to boot (the Prodigy connection is clearly underscored by a cover of that band's "Breathe," giving the song even more of a stern and, unsurprisingly, trance-heavy punch). If nothing on Subculture shows much more than an appreciation of the standards and sounds of relentless beats and hyper-dramatic synth lines, then arguably that's all that the Subs are after to start with. Certainly from the opening "Music Is the New Religion" — which loads in both gospel shouts and evangelist pronouncements via samples, following in the fine tradition of fellow Belgians Front 242 — the template for much of the album is set, with strong openings, a calmer midsong break, and then a massive return to the main arrangement. It's not that the album completely follows this formula all the way through, but it's more common than not. Where the real appeal lies on Subculture is in the details — the practically tactile crunch of the beats on "Papillon," half speaker spike and half bone break, for instance, or the skittering melodies on "From Dusk Till Dawn." Nothing is surprising on Subculture but everything sounds fantastic — not much more need be said.

Biography

Formed: Belgium

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Championed by the likes of Boys Noize, Laurent Garnier, and Tiësto, the Subs are an energetic Belgian trio whose thrilling blend of electro, rave, and punk has been tearing up the dancefloors of their Ghent hometown since 2006. Inspired by the '90s electronica of Daft Punk, Underworld, and Chemical Brothers, producer Jeroen "Papillon" De Pessemier and DJs Wiebe "Tonic" Loccufier and Luca "Highbloo" Di Ferdinando, first began remixing tracks for Alex Gopher, Telex, and Cassius before releasing...
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Subculture, The Subs
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