Chattanooga progressive rock outfit Subkonscious understands that there is a good deal of subtlety involved in crafting a relevant hard rock ruckus. If a band is just concerned with how loud they can get, there is always going to be quite a bit missing from their sound. Thankfully, that isn’t the case with Subkonscious, and they mete out their classic rock influences with a substantial measure of thought and planning-which isn’t to say that everything feels scripted. Their music just feels completely and thoroughly vetted in terms of its inspiration and production. The band doles out waves of unrelenting guitar noise and revels in its physical emotional resonance.
On their new EP, “maSK,” the band compiles a sizable collection of various rock rhythms and layers them in interesting and unexpected ways. There are some impressively dense licks but also a sense of melody that easily weaves its way throughout each track on the EP. Blending acoustic and electric sounds, the songs exhibit a relentless tenacity in their exploration of these occasionally disparate sounds, constructing a coherent musical vision from the band’s wide-ranging influences.
From the opening acoustic rhythms of “maSK” to the searing guitar theatrics of “Pain” and slow rock burn of “crooKed mirrorS,” the album lays out its musical lineage quite clearly and cleverly. There’s never a moment when the band seems to lack a clear direction in regards to their rock inclinations. It’s loud and brash, but also curiously nuanced in how they align the louder elements with the softer details, and the band carefully evokes rock’s expansive past across these tracks. Each song possesses a feral musical streak, giving them a wonderfully furious rhythmic temperament. This EP is elaborate but not disjointed and finds Subkonscious working through a handful of stylistic shifts that accentuate their inherent adaptability.
Joshua Pickard covers local and national music, film and other aspects of pop culture. You can contact him on Facebook, Twitter or by email. The opinions expressed in this column belong solely to the author, not Nooga.com or its employees.