Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Subculture - I Heard A Scream

Artist: Subculture
Album: I Heard A Scream
Year: 1985
Label: No Core/Fartblossom

1. All My Love
2. Words I've Never Heard
3. Le Chartier's Principle
4. I Heard A Scream
5. Creatures
6. The Last Time
7. Explain
8. Stepdad
9. Relinquished
10. I'm Fed Up
11. Sadness
12. I Thought You Knew
13. Long Ago
14. Catholic Schools
15. Feelin' Good
16. Stomp Your Ass

Sadly, outside of Raleigh circles, Subculture is an '80s hardcore band that is fairly unknown.  The singer of this band, Kevin Collins, is more well known these days for handling vocal duties in Double Negative.  This LP came out in 1985 in fairly limited availability and you'd be pretty hard-pressed to find it these days.  The production is fairly raw and unpolished, but also driven and ambient.  Reed Mullen of C.O.C. is actually credited as a producer on the record, but Subculture sounds quite different from what one might expect of other Raleigh contemporaries, like Corrosion of Conformity.  While there are your metal-twinged, raged-out parts that Raleigh is known for, there is also a fair amount of experimentation in tempo variation, clean guitar arpeggios, and noisy interludes.  

Considering that most of the members of the band were teenagers during the making of this record, the musicianship is actually quite impressive.  The lyrical content however, vastly different from Collin's recent songwriting, is mostly about love and relationship problems!  It works with the dynamics of the music though, creating a roller coaster of moods and undertones.  It's a wonder with the vocal delivery and classic potential on songs like "Sadness" that a full-length like this isn't more well known.  I Heard A Scream is a record at the tale-end of the first wave of hardcore that deserves more attention than it has gotten.  Definitely worth checking out.


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