Thursday, May 24, 2007

Still here!!! + some musings on Sub Zero!

Sorry to all the people that have been looking back here not to find any updates in a while. I hope to get some new reviews and interviews up here shortly. Some cool things planned that are currently in the works but have taken a while for some reason or another to get together.

Aaaaanyway, aside from the above disclaimer, I just need to say that summer is rolling around, and I actually like the heat significantly. I've learned to deal with the cold a lot more, but when it's real fucking HOT out is when I feel most comfortable. And, I used to love those New York heatwaves we used to have. Hopefully it'll get nearly that hot up here in Montreal. Thinking about it has made me a little homesick. About this time last year I was sucking down some beers in a hot-ass bar on the LES watching the World Cup (and watching both of my teams--- Germany and Brazil--- get herbed)!

The other thing I started thinking about recently, and rather randomly was the band Sub Zero. The mid-90's in NY was a weird time. I felt like we were waiting for the next band to make a big splash... not in a pathetic way, but more in an expecting, exciting kind of way. One band I had a lot of hope for was Sub Zero. They'd been plugging away for a while by then, had a set of GREAT songs, and were recording their first album. I think it was the summer of '96 that they really had some shit going on; I remember a good amount of shows of people just standing there watching (no worries, I made sure to mosh hard-- I knew my priorities back then!). Then Too Damn Hype released their long-awaited debut "Happiness Without Peace" (later re-issued on Century Media, I think), and at the next show the crowds just exploded. I remember a couple of those shows right after they just released that record--- all great. One of them was the record release show in fall '96 (??) at CB's with Breakdown and a whole mess of other good bands (including the CB's debut of Everybody Gets Hurt). S0's set was cut short, but it was fucking awesome, and 11 years later the record holds up in a big way.

I must say as a hardcore purist, it definitely adds a little more than the usual formula, and definitely goes the direction of the loathed "modern-hardcore" sound, with a lot of metal influences, but this is done by some cats who knew their fuckin' music, and were worried about constructing a boss sound, and not about sounding like a testosterone-driven adolescent. The production has some interesting stuff going on, with the drums having a distant (almost Martin Hannet/ Joy Division-esque) sound to them, as opposed to the Pantera-style drum production folks were fond of in those days. It's one of those rare hardcore records that first of all, manage to make a good hardcore ALBUM, and second of all, can successfully add to the hardcore formula in the metal direction without sounding like complete trash. In that sense, it's up there with "Age of Quarrel," no joke. Might not have been as influential in the long run but motherfuckers knew their shit in a serious way.

I can't vouch for their other stuff as I haven't heard from them in a while, but I know Lou (singer) battled cancer a few years after this and came out of it, so whatever might have happened with their sound, dude's got some serious heart to say the very least.

Below is a video of a great song from that album. I've actually never seen this before typing this (you can tell it's not '96 anymore-- that never would have been possible then!). Looks like it was recorded in some fuckin' dude's basement in Queens. Good shit!