Thrown together in the summer of 2002, Winnipeg’s SubCity have kicked through the lines of genres, fusing a brazen alchemy of ska, reggae, punk rock and blues. Citing influences from Ray Charles and the Clash to Studio One reggae and rocksteady, the band’s panoramic musicianship and peerless sound are accompanied with vigourous, passionate performance. The SubCity stage transforms into a rock n’ roll circus floor, pulling patrons with a range of palates into the music’s inescapable lure.
The octet’s 2004 outing, “When the Beat Starts to Pound,” won encouraging reviews both locally and internationally, with Adrian Mack of NERVE magazine noting the band’s ability to “reveal uncommon depth and skill, not to mention a clear sense of history.” After selling out the biggest rooms at home, SubCity took their show on the proverbial road, earning throngs of fans from Victoria to Montreal.
SubCity’s latest volume, “Where’s the Noise?,” breaks, blows and burns atop the shoulders of their previous release, signaling a leap-and-bound progression in confidence and inspiration. “We’ve really pushed back what we’re comfortable with in this record,” says Darryl, saxophonist/vocalist. “We’re getting more experimental, and have merged the bulk of our influences into one cohesive sound.”
Featuring a blasting horn section; a brazen rhythm section that seamlessly rolls from calypso to four-on-floor; cascades of guitar and gutsy vocals, “Where’s the Noise?” packs the crunch of a tank and force of a riptide. This is not a record to listen to in reverential silence, but a party-in-your-back-pocket, sweaty deluge of sound best set to the stripe of night on the town that doesn’t end until the streetlights burn out.