I think we can all agree tha tfive(ish) years is quite a long time between albums, right? Way back in 2010, a little known tech band from London spread their tiny little wings and released ‘Lest We Forget’. The year is now 2015 and said tech band are about to follow up that stunning debut with Animi, ‘who are they called?’ I hear you cry. Subversion, that’s who.
Straight from the opening in ‘Born Of The Sun’, it’s crystal clear that Subversion have matured in more ways than one. There’s been a fair few lineup changes since their debut, but it feels like that they now have the right guys for the job. It shows through via an overwhelming contrast to the scope of their sound. If you’ve heard Lest We Forget, then hearing this will be like hearing a cheap Yamaha keyboard, compared to the worlds biggest grand organ, pardon my French, but Animi sounds fucking huge!
As Animi progresses, the riffs keep coming, and coming, and coming. Ever play as E Honda on the critically acclaimed Street Fighter series and master his 100 hand slap? Well, this is the musical equivalent, but instead of leaving you in a bloody mess, it leaves a weird, creepy look on your face that has become associated with such an occurrence. We all know the one. Creepy, right? Yet more to the point, strangely satisfying. Check out ‘Illusion Of Eternity’ and tell me you don’t pull that face.
The recruitment of Jay Shields on vocal duties was a sound investment, the guy is relentless throughout and with guitarist Kai Giritli taking up the reigns when it comes to to the cleaner side of things, it’s a pairing that goes together like Martin Riggs and Roger Murtaugh, only without the shoulder dislocations and the need to say ‘I’m too old for this shit’ all time. If you’ve watched Lethal Weapon, then you’ll know what I mean, if not, then you won’t get the reference, and I’ll say they work really well with each other. They’re both crushing and soaring in one neat little package.
The coup de grace though, is the attention to detail, but you have to look beyond the standard instrumentation to find it. There’s layer upon layer of twinkly accompaniment that pushes Subversion from just a good tech band to probably one of the best in the UK scene today, ‘Novation’ solidifies that fact. Lets just say they entered the scene with ‘Lest We Forget’ as boys, and now continue with Animi as men.
I’ve been a fan of Subversion since first seeing them in 2012, but I seriously wasn’t expecting something this good. If this doesn’t push them through that glass ceiling? then there is definitely something wrong with this world, and I sincerely mean that.
The UK tech scene is possibly one of the best scenes of its kind in the world, and I feel we now have another main contender in the game.