Tuesday, November 13, 2012

SubRosa - No Help for the Mighty Ones (2011)

The majority of this album is absolutely fucking amazing! There are songs that I am helplessly compelled to listen to over and over and over again. Trust me, I'm not able to do that very often these days, even with the shit that I do enjoy. Unfortunately, there are a few songs that suffer from tremendously boring riffs, which make it all the more frustrating as I cannot just simply put this album on and let it ride straight through.

The guitar sound is definitely of the "stoner" variety, though probably the heaviest you'll find in that genre. The riffs themselves are more along the lines of mid-era Neurosis, although the band's insistence with revisiting the stoner vibe of the guitar sound itself emerges from time to time and that is where the problem lies. There is way too much potential here in other areas that I find the attempts at fitting in with the stoner crowd to be half-hearted and rather lame. I wish that they would focus on the more bizarre tendencies of songs such as 'Borrowed Time, Borrowed Eyes' or 'Beneath the Crown' rather than dumbing themselves down by timidly emulating the "tried and true" stoner formula. Believe me, there is NO fucking shortage in that genre and the potential that SubRosa has here is too precious and far too unique to be dwindled away in an attempt at being properly categorized.

Obviously the big lure here is the triple (!!) violin assault coupled with the vocals of Sarah Pendleton and Rebecca Vernon which all lend an ethereal yet completely bizarre and abstract quality to the music. I see a vast array of exciting possibilities for this band so long as they continue down their own path and ignore the mindless trappings along the way.

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