Album Review – Nature of Things by Subsonic Eye (2020) (Middle Class Cigars / Fastcut Records)
Sometimes you just ‘suddenly’ realize that an act have stepped into another, more worthy echelon. One that old common man adages such as ‘moved up a gear’, do not do justice to.
This is that moment of realization in relation to Singaporean five-piece, Subsonic Eye, who grace us with their long awaited third album out of the increasingly essential cassette label Middle Class Cigars and also on vinyl via Japan’s Fastcut Records (out todayhere).
Essentially the whole album simply exudes a manifest sense of ‘better’. Perhaps it is extra studio time, perhaps it is just a young band beginning to reach their obvious potential as a union of musicians and ideas. Either way it all works in two resounding ways.
Previously the sound was all things dense and some things impenetrable, with layers of gaze laden fuzz/noise, juxtaposed against walls of sheer guitars that all attempted, but ultimately failed to hide battered rhythm sections. It was as busy as it was totally enthralling.
However, in Nature of Things, we see more subtle usage tempo, intensity and just plain attitude, that perfectly reveal the seams within this genuine musical perfection. As such we suddenly start to recognize the obvious brilliance of the previously burnished guitar sounds, with the mid album triple salvo of Fruitcake, Animinimism and Further inviting fans to a new found homage to dulcet twanging riffs.
Similarly Cabin Fever, Spiral and Unearth see the guitars hit the surface of the insistent noise, as genuine jangled melodies glide around the subtle, dreamy mayhem and swirl. It’s a sound that is as absolutely lucid as they have ever been, without ever threatening to add too much saccahrine to the omnipresent noise and grumble we have always loved them for.
One aspect of the sound that definitely remains constant, is the sheer beauty of the Nur Wahida vocals. Always having acted as the unification agent that kept the subtle mayhem from spiralling out of control, the new, occasional subjugation of intensity, also enables hitherto untested musical climes such as the genuine indie-pop/indie-rock of Consumer Blues and Spiral to thrive without the usual safety jacket of total musical bombast.
Frorm their very first EP, there has been much to admire always had much to admire about Subsonic Eye. This album adds the clarity to why.