Subset has been to the fore of the UK underground scene almost from their initial emergence in 2009 through their continually inventive and diverse noise bred encounters. Each of their eight releases has been dramatic in not only presence but the continuing evolution and sparking imagination charging through their sound. Last album Loverdose is a fine example, the naggingly intriguing and explosive release as unpredictable as it was resourceful, fusing thick essences of rock, metal, and punk into tracks which left expectations floundering and passions hungrier. It took the band’s reputation to yet another level, providing one more major step in their ascent but we have the confidence to say it was only the appetiser to even greater glories.
The reason for that claim is a track called Roughened, a brand new song from the band which we have the pleasure and honour of getting a sneak preview of. Such its potent and striking impact we thought we would look at a comparison between the track and a couple from Loverdose, looking at another twist in the growth of Subset and their incendiary songwriting as well as a potential breakthrough into international recognition which the song alone suggests is possible, yes it is that potent.
Between them Carnage and Bayonet from Loverdose give a full picture of the album and Subset’s sound at that moment in time. The first of the two flies at the senses on a surge of punk and grunge infused rock with a melodic seducing which wraps sensuous persuasion round senses and imagination. Guitars and bass offer a persistent snarl and insatiable predation which the rhythms whip up into a greater frenzy, All the time though a Buzzcocks like lure winds its bait around ears and imagination. The song merges a further raw and caustic breath into the mix, inciting the senses and imagination into assuming you think the band was at their pinnacle. That was until Roughened infected body and soul.
As rhythms thump down with a strength and intent which arguably has never been more dramatic and imposing from the band, and Romain Daste’s excellently expressive vocals combine with rich predatory growling riffs to steal a greater slice of an instantly awoken imagination, the punk heart of the band roars as never before in the new track. That is only part of the story though as the previous grunge and rock pop elements of the band which have certainly not been abandoned find themselves redefined as a fiercer noise and psyche rock charge of invention. Contagion is as virulent as ever but courted by a definite post punk temptation and an overall greater voraciousness which has been thickened and almost carnally fortified in the songwriting.
Bayonet from the previous album showed a harsher side of the band, merging melodic rock and punk infused metallic essences into a scuzz blessed provocation which was unafraid to entice with rapier tendrils of sonic noise whilst preying on and snuggling up to the senses with raucous noise and tempting melodies respectively. It was a proposition which gnawed and flamed at ears whilst teasing them with pop rock wantonness and now Roughened employs much of the same web of sound but twists it into a more incisive and riveting furnace of raptorial ingenuity whilst adding richer strains of garage punk and alternative metal. It is crafted and delivered in a greatly maturer blaze of craft, invention, and instinctive devilry; Subset and songwriting at their most inventive and exploratory it is easy to say.
As much as the two older songs and Loverdose as a whole impressed, hindsight showed they only hinted at the new mouthwatering and breath-taking alchemy that runs through Roughened. The track is quite brilliant and just the start as the band has numerous more juicy provocations waiting to mark a new horizon in the journey of Subset. We cannot wait and suggest you keenly watch this space as fans and newcomers to the band are in for something special we suggest, Roughened our undeniable evidence.
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright
Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from