Subdued from London is one of the most authentic bands going in contemporary punk music, reminiscent of dark 80's UK legends Amebix and other anarcho acts of the time. This is anti-war music that will really make your calloused heart feel again. First 100 available with alternate hand screened sleeve. All include a 16-page booklet. For the UK/EU version see LA VIDA ES UN MUS.
Our take: Like their Roach Leg label-mates Rigorous Institution, Subdued is a band I’ve been following for a while. Their previous releases were powerful, but Over the Hills and Far Away is a big leap forward, elaborating on the Amebix influence that characterized Subdued’s earlier releases and hitting upon a sound totally their own. The first track, “Sanctuary Is Nowhere,” comes out of the gate ripping at full hardcore velocity until the second track, “The Joke,” brings in the punked-up Killing Joke vibes we all loved on the early Amebix singles. The energy level reaches an ebb for the long bass intro to “Problem of Evil,” but Subdued gradually works themselves up to a tizzy until the a-side climaxes with another ripper, “No More,” which peaks with one of the most ripping guitar solos I’ve heard in some time. The b-side pulls from the same bag of tricks, but the songs are longer and more intricate, bringing a Celtic Frost-esque sense of grandiosity to the album’s second half. While Subdued has some familiar points of reference, Over the Hills and Far Away is ambitious in a way few modern punks records are. Subdued pushes past the familiar and the cliche and gets at something that feels more substantial, both musically and lyrically. It’s a big swing, but Over the Hills and Far Away fully connects. Mark my words; you’ll be seeing this record on a lot of Best of 2020 lists, mine included.