Subverse – Aural Regurgitations CD (Boss Tuneage)
This release compiles the demo, split album and EP from Vancouver’s Subverse. Oddly enough although they are Canadian, they might as well be considered as part of the seething pot of mayhem that was the UK hardcore scene from the late 80s – the split (with Desecration) was released on Bristol’s Manic Ears records and the “Give Jesus Back To The Martians” EP came out on Looney Tunes records from Scarborough. The band also enjoyed an extended stay of residence in the UK following a tour with MDC and seem to have played every town and with all of the bands you’d care to mention from the era. For me, in particular having a release on Manic Ears records is a real mark of quality and puts a band into a pretty exclusive club, alongside some of the greats of the era such as Civilised Society?, Spermbirds, Dr & The Crippens, Chaos UK and Extreme Noise Terror.
True to the style of the time, this is hard and fast without being in the slightest big metallic, blasting out tracks in blistering fashion. Some of the songs are longer than others in the genre, allowing the mood to build up before thrashing out. The highlights on here are definitely the songs from 7” release, benefitting from a sound that still sounds bright and energetic to this day. The album recordings unfortunately suffer from an atrocious guitar sound – on some tracks you can barely hear them, which makes it sound like a live tape rather than a proper release. Fortunately this reissue also includes the original demo tape, which features the album material in much better quality. The demo is raw manic thrash in the vein of Siege or Septic Death, great stuff! Tom Chapman