Coming out of the fertile North Carolina scene of the early to mid 80's, 5 young highschool kids took the early hardcore of the east coast scene and added some melodic elements way before bands like Green Day and late period Bad Religion took it mainstream. 16 songs of youthful angst, played with a ton of excitement and passion and a good dose of humor. A lost classic of the mid-80's punk/hardcore scene.
Our take: This North Carolina hardcore classic gets an official reissue on Puke N Vomit Records. It’s appropriate that this reissue comes on a California label, because while Raleigh bands like COC and No Labels were indebted to the DC scene, Subculture always sounded more like a California band to me. While the reference to Green Day and Bad Religion in the label’s description is overstating the case, Subculture remind me of early west coast punk bands like Social Distortion, Channel 3, and TSOL in that there’s a lot of British punk in their sound, albeit simplified and sped up. There are a few moments (like “I Thought You Knew” and “Stomp Your Ass”) that edge toward the full-on thrash of early DRI, but Subculture did a great job of balancing energy and complexity on this LP. Revisiting this I’m also impressed with how strong the recording is, heavy and present without sounding slick. Thankfully, this reissue preserves the super cool original artwork and you even get a new insert with photos, flyers, and some liner notes. I know a lot of mediocre 80s punk has seen reissues over the past few years, but this is a great record that’s more obscure than it should be, and Puke N Vomit's reissue is well-executed and faithful.