RIYLBetween the Buried and Me
Fair to Midland
Every Time I Die
Tracklist01. Griping Portentous
02. Anxiety Found Shape In Contradictions - Act II. Delusion
03. Anxiety Found Shape In Contradictions - Act III. The Final Relief
04. Bitter Boundary
05. Books For The Dyslexic
07. Ringside Seat
09. Miles Away
10. Between Heaven And Her
11. Gay Rodeo
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I’ve been meaning to write this review for a while. Mr. Fritz covered Subscribe in an earlier Nick's Picks, so you may already be acquainted with this Hungarian six-piece, but if not—Reader, Subscribe. Subscribe, Reader. There.
What grabs me about Subscribe is that these guys work in so many genres and are masters of injecting short little interludes/cutaways just like Between the Buried and Me, except in Subscribe’s case you don’t feel like you’re slogging through minutes of mediocre metalcore to get to all the cool parts. On Bookmarks, every song is a continuous and self-renewing string of cool parts. On the same song you can hear injections of epic rock ala Queen, or gritty post-hardcore ala Glassjaw, then a slick solo with a Tool percussion section—and it never feels piecemeal.
“Alright Zach,” you’re saying, “So they’re a prog band. So what?”
And this is exactly why it’s been taking me so long to write this review. Why the hell do I dig these guys so much? But I finally have found my answer: Gay Rodeo.
“Gay Rodeo” is the perfect example of just how much ass Subscribe can kick in one song. In the first minute, we’ve got 3 vocal styles and an Every Time I Die opening. Then there’s a quick burst of jazz into a distorted sort of breakdown, and then the happiest piano-tinged chorus, which segues into this sort of middle-career Metallica-down, which segues in turn back to the happy chorus, except this time it’s low key and the drummer is playing that neat “shimmer” sound on a tiny set of chimes. Oh and then there’s a sweet burst of horns into this soulful lounge section which crescendos with even more horns and breaks into a solo, because Subscribe give no fucks. “Gay Rodeo” is Bookmarks in a nutshell. It’s eclectic to a high degree, but not schizophrenic. It feels varied, but always cohesive. It takes some kick-ass songwriters to pull that off, but Subscribe definitely do.
I can’t imagine why anyone would need further excuse to listen to a band that sounds like Every Time I Die and Fair to Midland had a virtuosic Hungarian baby, but if you aren’t convinced, just think about gay rodeos. It will all become clear.