Review Summary: A relentless mix of oldskool rave, short-circuit electro and trashy punk, with great international potential.
In the European electro scene, there are few DJs who are as influential as the Belgian Dr. Lektroluv. The green doctor may be lacking in actual mixing skills, but whatever tunes he plays in his sets are bound to be massive club hits the next day. And whoever he thinks are the best artists, they're being presented a spot on his successful Lektroluv label. This brings us nicely to The Subs and the massive single "Kiss My Trance". Being hyped by Dr. Lektroluv, it was a smash hit in clubs around the world and The Subs were able to record their debut, Subculture, at the Lekroluv label.
The record itself is a relentless mix of oldskool rave, short-circuit electro and trashy punk (they were once called 'The Stooges of the dance scene'). It's a pretty violent listen throughout; this is stuff that's meant to be blasted as loudly as possible through massive amps, in an abandoned warehouse in the middle of nowhere, where the sweat is literally pouring down from the ceiling. Only one resting point is found, at the middle of the tracklist: "Albatross". It's a four-minute trip across post-apocalyptic landscapes, featuring very little percussion; it's the closest thing The Subs got to making an ambient track, although the schizophrenic synths do make this more nightmarish and downright frightening than they make it a relaxing or melancholic journey.
That leaves eight tracks, and they are all bangers. The highlights are the single "Kiss My Trance", album opener "Music Is The New Religion", "In Cold Blood", which is probably the most atmospherical track on here, aside from "Albatross", and finally "Fu
ck That Shi
t", without a doubt the single best thing they ever did (although you haven't really heard that track, until you heard it live). It's a six-minute, really bad acid trip, and if you're wondering where the Stooges comparison comes from, look no further.
The rest however, while not being particularly bad in any way, are just rehashes of the tracks mentioned above. Sure, they sound very nice through a good speaker system, but they also point out the weak spot in the production: the lack of variety. It's like The Subs don't know how to stray away from their core sound, or that they are afraid of leaving their comfort zone. Now they have made a great record, but one that will be hard to listen to in one go for some people; this in spite of the record only counting nine tracks. Nevertheless, the album does contain some of the best electro house tunes that have come out in recent years and if one of these tunes comes your way while clubbing, and you don't enjoy yourself, then you're probably allergic to fun. It's as simple as that.